by Don Gonyea, NPR
Updated at 10 p.m. ET
The man who served in the U.S. Congress longer than anyone else in history has died.
John Dingell, a Democrat who represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 1955 until January 2015, died Thursday at the age of 92, his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, confirmed. John Dingell served for 59 years in Congress and cast more than 21,000 roll call votes. He was undefeated in 30 elections.
Debbie Dingell wrote, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of John David Dingell, Jr., former Michigan Congressman and longest-serving member of the United States Congress. Congressman Dingell died peacefully today at his home in Dearborn. ...
"He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather, and friend. He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor sharp wit, and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this earth," she said.
What Else Has The Longest-Serving Congressman Outlasted? IT'S ALL POLITICS What Else Has The Longest-Serving Congressman Outlasted? "Every now and then, you hear the expression somebody is a 'living legend.' That doesn't even begin to describe John Dingell," then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said as Dingell began his retirement in 2015.
"When he came to Congress, Americans had Dwight Eisenhower as president, Brooklyn had its champion Dodgers baseball team, and Elvis Presley had his first gold record," said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the No. 2 House Democrat. "But what I will point out is what Americans did not have. Americans did not have the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Right Act."
Dingell supported both of those landmark pieces of legislation. They were, he said, his most important votes.
He also championed the Clean Air and Water acts; Medicaid and Medicare; and like his father, John Dingell Sr., who served before him, he introduced a national health care bill every session until the Affordable Care Act came along.
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