In 1955, Dwight Eisenhower was president, a stamp value three cents and John Dingell of Michigan was elected to Congress from the identical district his father represented for 22 years.

Eleven males would move via the Oval Workplace by the point Dingell retired in 2015. He served 59 years — longer than anybody in American historical past. When he broke the document, Nancy Pelosi and Democrats actually did a contented dance. However his legacy is excess of longevity.

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A longtime champion of well being care like his father, when Lyndon Johnson led the drive to move Medicare in 1965, Dingell was such a key strategist the president invited him to the Truman Library the place it was signed into regulation.

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Gruff, even snarky, some colleagues favored him, some did not, however all agreed it was higher to have him in your facet. With biting wit, he all the time discovered a option to get an opponent’s goat and he took shortly to the brand new craze: Twitter.

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Consistently at odds with the Senate, he as soon as tweeted: “I have been making an attempt to repeal and change america Senate since 1955. No luck.”

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Consultant John Dingell sits after listening to President Barack Obama make a press release within the East Room of the White Home July 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Photos


Donald Trump was a favourite goal. After the president shared a foul temper on Twitter, Dingell tweeted: “The greens should be tough at this time.”

However within the hours earlier than he died, he instructed his spouse Debbie, “Some events deserve greater than 280 characters,” and he dictated a outstanding collection of reflections.

Recalling the good battles he had been part of — medical care, cleansing up the setting, regulating harmful merchandise and civil rights — he mentioned, “We noticed modicums of respect whilst we fought, usually bitterly and savagely over points that had been actually life and loss of life.” The work just isn’t completed, he mentioned, however “we have made progress” and “we did it with the assist of Democrats and Republicans who thought of themselves at first to be People.”

It was a summation of the credo that marked his lengthy profession. “Compromise” just isn’t a unclean phrase, however quite it’s the honorable cornerstone of democracy. 

Along with his father who got here earlier than him, and his spouse who was elected to succeed him, the Dingells have represented Michigan in Congress for 86 years — and counting.

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