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Politicians, Michiganders Remember Dingell For Public Service, Humorous Twitter Account

Many remembered Dingell for his comedic tweets about Michigan sports.

February 07, 2019 - 10:51 pm

DEARBORN, Mich. (WWJ) -- Michigan Democrat John Dingell, the longest-serving member in the history of Congress who impacted American politics for nearly six decades, has died at age 92.

Many politicians from the Metro Detroit area and across the country sent condolences to the Dingell family after hearing the news. Dingell, survived by his wife, Debbie, and four children, died at his home Thursday night after a battle with cancer.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubuck spoke live on WWJ, saying Dingell was "in it for all the right reasons."

"The public service gene that was in ‘Big John,’ as he was affectionately referred to by those inside and out of Congress, was huge," Skubick said. "It started with his daddy, who served in Congress. And then in 1055 when senior Dingell died, junior came in and held the seat for an amazing length of time. At age 92 he leaves us. He was in the Congress for 59 years. Nobody has ever, in American history, served that long. And he served with distinction.”

Dingell was an American political superstar and champion of the auto industry who had a major impact on health care and the evironment.

Dingell, of course, was also a superstar of Twitter. He was an avid University of Michigan sports fan, as well as the Tigers and "all things Detroit," as his Twitter bio reads. Known in Congress as the "Dean of the House," Dingell could be called the "Dean of Twitter."

He was often outspoken about his favorite sports teams and had a keen following of sports fans on the social media site. His sense of humor towards the local sports teams struck a chord with many Michiganders. 

Dingell’s father, John Dingell, Sr., was a member of the House when Dingell was a boy. He spent his teen years as a page, running errands on the House floor.

Dingell served in the Army in World War II and then after the war worked his way through college and law school as an elevator operator at the Capitol.

He was working as an assistant Wayne County Prosecutor in 1955 when his father passed away. Dingell ran for his dad’s seat in a special election, won and served for more than 59 years.

Dingell spent 16 years as chairman as the House Energy and Commerce Committee. During his tenure, his staff uncovered scores of scandals, including corruption on Wall Street, misuse of the Federal Super Fund program and improprieties in scientific research.

Dingell also wrote some of the country’s most high-profile legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, the patient’s bill of rights and the 1990 Clean Air Act. If you’ve ever used the “Do Not Call List,” you have John Dingell to thank.