Longest-serving Congress member John Dingell dies at 92

Colleagues, friends remember John Dingell, an ‘American legend’ and ‘beloved pillar of Congress’

Political giant John Dingell dies at 92

He supervised elevator operators while in college, and when he became the longest-serving U.S. House member in history in 2009, he recalled entering the chamber for the first time - as a 6-year-old - and being in awe of the East door. "He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather and friend", Democratic Michigan Rep.

"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".

Dingell had 252,000 followers on Twitter, which was an outlet for the outspoken Democrat's wry takes and quick wit.

"John Dingell was a giant legislator on behalf of the people", said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Dingell mastered legislative deal-making but was fiercely protective of the auto industry back home in Detroit, and he was a longtime supporter of universal health care.

John Dingell worked as a House page from 1938 to 1943 and then served in the military for two years.

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The historian for the House of Representatives noted that Dingell served with 2,427 members of the House, or 22 percent of the House's total membership, 11 presidents, and 11 speakers of the House.

From 1981 until 2009, Dingell was the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He served as chairman of the committee for more than 15 years.

He also played an important role in passing the legislation leading to Medicare, the health insurance program for elderly Americans, in 1965, and the Affordable Care Act in 2010, popularly known as Obamacare.

Among the landmark laws he supported were Medicare, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. And I would tell the industry folks, 'You've got to go along. "And he's a great tweeter as well". On Thursday, after reports that he had entered hospice care, he tweeted that his wife would be taking over his feed after "long negotiations" and added "you're not done with me yet".

Dingell's combination of seniority, broad jurisdiction and willingness to twist arms made him one of the most powerful and feared members of Congress.

Trump has been the subject of his criticism in recent years, but more broadly, Dingell has been knocking what he describes as a decline in institutionalism.

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"Let me just say this: You ain't seen nothing yet". "I'm only left with more questions". "His respect for his constituents, his colleagues of both parties, and the institutions of Congress are a valuable reminder today of what a noble calling public service can be".

Dingell and his health subcommittee chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, fought endlessly over energy and environmental issues. "But it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?" He was exposed to politics at an early age when his father was elected to the House in 1932. Debbie Dingell's office said in a statement.

Alongside his congressman father, Dingell was serving as a page on the House floor when President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

Former vice president Joe Biden appreciated Dingell's "great moral courage and vision", and said he would "miss him terribly".

When he was 18, Dingell enlisted into the US Army, nearly three years after he watched Roosevelt deliver his famous "Day of Infamy" address to Congress.

Dingell was first elected in 1955, to fill the House seat vacated by his late father.

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The five-time Oscar nominee, who was born in Salford in 1936, made his movie debut with a small part in The Entertainer in 1960. He showed off his vocal chops in 1970's Scrooge and 1982's Annie , for which he shaved his head to play Daddy Warbucks.

But Dingell focused particular fury as a reason Congress is not working on the anti-tax pledge of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), in which candidates for Congress sign a written promise not to vote for new taxes or raise existing taxes.

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