Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Political giant John Dingell dies at 92

Political giant John Dingell dies at 92

US President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on November 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Governor Eric Holcomb on Friday directed flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former U.S. Representative John David Dingell, Jr., the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.

West Michigan Congressman Bill Huizenga said in a written statement, "John Dingell was a fierce advocate for Michigan and a titan of the House who worked with a servant's heart". His investigations also led to the resignation of Reagan's first environmental protection chief and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch's mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford.

Congressman Dingell died peacefully today at his home in Dearborn, surrounded by his wife Deborah. And he often used his dry wit to amuse his friends and sting opponents. At Georgetown University, he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1949 and a law degree three years later.

After his father died while in office 1955, Dingell was elected to the seat in a special election at the age of 29.

Dingell represented the people of MI for almost 59 years and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955 and served through the end of his term in 2015. Dingell was serving as a page on the House floor when President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

"I had never been in a place like this". "I've only begun in later years to appreciate what it all meant". Dingell represented the powerful auto industry in southeastern MI and opposed many efforts to require safety equipment and fuel and emission standards.

Tributes poured in following Dingell's death, including from former US presidents, colleagues and some of his more than 250,000 Twitter followers. "It's what I have done with that time". The family tradition continued when his wife, Debbie, was elected to replace him in his Detroit-area district after he retired in 2014.

Explaining his decision to retire in 2015, he said back then: "I don't want people to be sorry for me".

For his service, Dingell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's greatest civilian award, by President Barack Obama on November 24, 2014.

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

John Dingell recently released a memoir called: 'The Dean, the Best Seat in the House'.

Some prominent Republicans including former President George W. Bush praised Dingell.

"Dingell was one of the key architects - for almost 60 years in the House! - in the movement that's become Medicare-for-All", Diamond wrote Wednesday after news broke that Dingell had entered hospice care.

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