Governor Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Henrietta Brewer
February 10, 2019

John Dingell Jr., the longest-serving member of Congress in us history, a champion of expanding health care coverage and a staunch ally to the USA auto industry, died Thursday, according to his wife, Debbie Dingell.

Yet the congressman - whose almost six decades in the U.S. House made him the longest serving member of Congress in American history - was hard to typecast.

Dingell first entered Congress in 1955, succeeding his father who had died earlier that year.

Tributes poured in following Dingell's death, including from former US presidents, colleagues and some of his more than 250,000 Twitter followers. He built a following of more than 250,000 users, dwarfing that of many current members of Congress.

The American Flag above the White House is lowered, to half mast to honor the life and legacy of former Congressman John Dingell, in Washington, D.C, on Friday.

"M$3 uch as I have found Twitter to be a useful means of expression, some occasions merit more than 280 characters", he said, a sly nod to his penchant for burning President Donald Trump on the social media network.

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.

John David Dingell Jr. was born July 8, 1926 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The young Dingell then served as a House page and attended the Capitol Page School from 1938 to 1943. Dingell, a World War II-era Army veteran, will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The couple divorced in the 1970s, and Helen died in 2016. He was 92 years old. Dingell resumed his father's practice of proposing, at the start of every Congress, legislation to provide universal health insurance, and he presided over the House when it passed Medicare.

An advocate of the environment and a proponent of health care, one of his final acts in congress was passing the Affordable Care Act. He served as chairman of the committee for more than 15 years.

In 1986, Dingell summoned Deaver, Reagan's former deputy chief of staff, to testify on whether he had used his connections to the president to help build his lobbying business. Deaver was convicted of perjury and received a suspended three-year prison term and a $100,000 fine. A member of the Democratic party, he supported comprehensive healthcare legislation, supported Civil Rights, and fought against government fraud.

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

Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 8, 1926, John David Dingell Jr. grew up in MI, where his father was elected to Congress as a "New Deal" Democrat in 1932. "It was simply not possible to do".

Dingell tweeted from his Twitter account on Wednesday: 'The Lovely Deborah is insisting I rest and stay off here, but after long negotiations we've worked out a deal where she'll keep up with Twitter for me as I dictate the messages.

Obama, a Democrat, lauded Dingell for his steady, determined efforts over a long career to bring change.

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