RIP John Dingell: Longest-serving member of Congress passed away on Thursday

Grant Boone
February 9, 2019

John Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress in us history.

"Every chapter of Chairman John Dingell's life has been lived in service to our country, from his time as a House Page, to his service in the Army during World War II, to his nearly six decades serving the people of MI in the U.S. Congress. John Dingell leaves a towering legacy of unshakable strength, boundless energy and transformative leadership", she said in a statement. That's 11 presidencies, from Eisenhower to Obama.

Obama awarded Dingell the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Rep. John D. Dingell Jr. He was a maker of it.

And while his name was not familiar to many, his impact on the nation, and on health care in particular, was enormous.

"Chairman Dingell was a true statesman: he embodied the values, spirit and dedication that all public servants should aspire to have".

I never forgot the people who gave me the privilege of representing them.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) chimed in as well, recalling how Dingell "left an impression with everyone he met". "We will miss you Mr. Chairman".

While Dingell clearly had no great affection for Trump, the president ordered flags to fly at half-staff on Friday and paid his respects on Twitter.

Dingell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and wanted to share a message with his social media followers after the hospice announcement. "You're not done with me yet".

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With the expansion of Twitter, Dingell became known for his commentary on current events through snarky and sometimes hard-hitting tweets that often went viral.

He has also become active on Twitter in his retirement, regularly tweeting about politics and the University of MI football team he loves.

A public funeral mass will be held Tuesday in Dearborn, Michigan.

"I think he will go down in history as one of the most impactful members of the United States Congress", said Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries of NY. "My deepest sympathies go out to Congresswoman Dingell and the entire Dingell family". Debbie Dingell, who succeeded him in office after his retirement. While there were areas where we disagreed, I had no doubt that John's passion and positions were well founded. Debbie Dingell, herself a former auto industry lobbyist.

"John Dingell will forever be remembered as "The Dean" of Congress not simply for the length of his service, but for his unparalleled record of legislative accomplishments", Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday in a statement. Throughout his lifetime of public service, John was a fierce advocate for the people of MI and was guided by a love of country.

But the two were of the same mind on most health issues, and together during the 1980s and early 1990s they expanded the Medicaid program, reshaped Medicare and modernized the FDA, NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dingell is credited with having increased access to health care and having helped to write the majority of America's major environmental and energy laws.

From 1981 until 2009, Dingell was the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"In my six decades in public service, I've seen many changes in our nation and its institutions". "It used to bother my wife, but oversight was something we did uniquely well". The Democrat was a master of legislative deal-making and a staunch advocate for the USA auto industry. His hometown, the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, was home to a Ford Motor Co. factory that was once the largest in the world. "John sat beside me when I signed the Affordable Care Act - a law that almost cut in half the uninsured rate in America". Dingell had introduced a universal health care coverage bill in each of his terms.

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