Key events in the career of US Rep. John Dingell

Rep. John Dingell to break record in Congress

Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, died Thursday night at age 92. He first came to represent Michigan's 12th Congressional District after winning a special election following the death of his father, Rep. John D. Dingell Sr, according to Ballotpedia.

The Colorado native served in the U.S. House from December 1955 until January 2015 - almost 60 years. The late 20th century was viewed by the incoming class of politicians as something like the end of history, and after "winning" the Cold War, a common theme emerged in the 1990s: we won so we don't need to keep doing the things that got us here. In more recent years, he became known for his witty Twitter account and criticism of President Donald Trump's administration. "I said, 'Well I have to go over and meet him".

Debbie Dingell, his wife, has held the position since then.

Dingell's wife said on Twitter that she skipped Tuesday's State of the Union address in Washington to be with him as his health declined. The fact that I grew up as a young kid in MI, interested in politics, admired him and then had the incredible good fortune of serving side-by-side with him in Congress - there's so many people like me who are so grateful to have had that opportunity.

- November 8, 1932: John Dingell Sr.is elected to Congress as a "New Deal" Democrat. The young Dingell then served as a House page and attended the Capitol Page School from 1938 to 1943.

His last post was the day before his death, in which he wrote: "You're not done with me just yet".

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"I had never been in a place like this". I know he leaves behind a meaningful legacy.

Adding to Dingell's image as the auto industry's man in Washington was his second marriage, in 1981, to the former Deborah Insley, a General Motors Corp. lobbyist 27 years his junior. "It's what I have done with that time".

"I don't want people to be sorry for me".

Dingell suffered a heart attack four years later, in September 2018 at age 92.

He also penned a memoir, "The Dean: The Best Seat in the House", in which he took on enemies and called for abolishing the Senate (E&E Daily, Dec. 5, 2018). Forewords were written by former President George H.W. Bush, who died only a few days before its publication, and former Vice-President Joe Biden. Unable to sway a handful of Democrats who opposed mandating universal coverage - and unwilling to compromise on that point - Dingell notified the House speaker, Thomas Foley, that he couldn't muster the votes to produce legislation.

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