US: Longest serving Congress member John D Dingell Jr passes away at 92

Washington: Longest-serving member of Congress in the history of United States, John D Dingell Jr who used his power in the House of Representatives to expose government fraud and defend the interests of his home state Michigan’s automobile industry, died on February 7 at the age of 92.

A Michigan Democrat, Dingell announced in 2014 that he not seek a 30th full term in Congress and was succeeded by his wife, Debbie Dingell, reported The Washington Post.

The office of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the news of Dingell’s demise stating that he had complications from prostate cancer.

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The then-President Barack Obama awarded Dingell with Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honour, in November 2014.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of John David Dingell, Jr., former Michigan Congressman and longest-serving member of the United States Congress.

“Congressman Dingell died peacefully today at his home in Dearborn, surrounded by his wife Deborah. He was a lion of the United States Congress and a loving son, father, husband, grandfather, and friend.

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,” the office of his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, said in a statement as quoted by CNN.

Dingell had also served as the representative from Michigan’s 15th Congressional District since 1955, when he won a special election to replace his father, John D Dingell Sr, a New Deal Democrat who died of tuberculosis while in office.

The Michigan Democrat also served on the Energy and Commerce Committee for nearly 58 years, making him the longest-serving member on any congressional committee. He was the 0chairman of the committee for more than 15 years.

Dingell also played a key role in helping pass important legislation such as the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.


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