Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

John Dingell, Longest Serving Member Of US Congress, Dies At 92

Former Rep. John Dingell the longest-serving member of Congress on record passed away Thursday. He was 92 Former Rep. John Dingell the longest-serving member of Congress on record passed away Thursday. He was 92
Celia Hoffman | 09 February, 2019, 16:25

Well after leaving Congress, he remained popular, deploying his wit in posts on Twitter.

In my life and career I have often heard it said that so-and-so has real power - as in, "the powerful Wile E. Coyote, chairman of the Capture the Road Runner Committee".

John Dingell was 55 and Debbie Dingell was 27 when they met.

"He was a tireless advocate for Wayne County communities and residents in Washington during his almost 60 years in Congress", Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said Thursday in a statement.

Dingell tweeted from his Twitter account on Wednesday: 'The Lovely Deborah is insisting I rest and stay off here, but after long negotiations we've worked out a deal where she'll keep up with Twitter for me as I dictate the messages. He gradually acquired seniority and clout, eventually becoming chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and earning a reputation for being one of Washington's sharpest government watchdogs.

When, 17 years later, Democrats did expand health insurance coverage under Barack Obama, the president gave Dingell a pen he used to sign the legislation. "You have to be very, very sure of your target, and then when you get your chance, don't miss".

Tributes poured in following Dingell's death, including from former USA presidents, colleagues and some of his more than 250,000 Twitter followers.

Dingell was a champion of the auto industry and was credited with increasing access to health care, among other accomplishments. Dingell is said to have felled the animal with a pistol as it charged him during a hunting trip in Soviet Georgia.

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His wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, added that she was with him at their home in Dearborn. "I am home with John and we have entered a new phase".

Flags at USA embassies and other facilities overseas also are ordered to half-staff. "Do you think I'm silly enough to let that happen again?" he told the Washington Post in response to the controversial auto industry bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis.

The Michigan Democrat joked that the nurses and doctors had "heard all of John's stories and decided it was time". But after the death of his father in 1955, 29-year-old Dingell followed in his political footsteps, winning a special election to succeed John Sr. "I've only begun in later years to appreciate what it all meant".

"He was my love", Debbie Dingell said by phone late Thursday, sobbing.

His wife Debbie said at the time: 'He's alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always'.

An autobiography, "The Dean: The Best Seat in the House", written with David Bender, was published in December.

Along with his wife, Dingell is survived by two daughters, two sons, one of whom served 15 years in the Michigan Legislature, and several grandchildren.

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