John Dingell: Great American

President Obama talks with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., along with members of his family, in the Oval Office, June 13. Rep. Dingell is the longest-serving Member in the history of the United States Congress (Photo by Pete Souza)


White House: Statement from the President on the Retirement of John Dingell

Serving nearly six decades in the House of Representatives, John Dingell has earned the distinction of being both the longest-serving Member of Congress in U.S. history and one of the most influential legislators of all time.  After serving his country in the Army during World War II, John was first elected to Congress in 1955 – representing the people of southeastern Michigan in a seat previously held by his father.  In Washington, John risked his seat to support the Civil Rights Act of 1964, fought to pass Medicare in 1965, and penned legislation like the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act that have kept millions of Americans healthy and preserved our natural beauty for future generations.

But of all John’s accomplishments, perhaps the most remarkable has been his tireless fight to guarantee quality, affordable health care for every American.  Decades after his father first introduced a bill for comprehensive health reform, John continued to introduce health care legislation at the beginning of every session.  And as an original author of the Affordable Care Act, he helped give millions of families the peace of mind of knowing they won’t lose everything if they get sick.  Today, the people of Michigan – and the American people – are better off because of John Dingell’s service to this country, and Michelle and I wish him, his wife Debbie, and their family the very best.




U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI) at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (You see the distinguished bald man way in the back on the far right wearing glasses? John Dingell is the man next to him. He’s wearing Ray Ban style glasses.)



Rep. John Dingell at the signing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

Dingell Longest Ever

This undated file photo provided by Rep. John Dingell’s office shows the congressman with President John F. Kennedy

1955 – Dingell was first elected in a 1955 special election to replace his late father, and was re-elected in every subsequent election.



President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 23, 2010. Among those present were Marcelas Owens of Seattle, left, and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., right.

104 Responses to “John Dingell: Great American”

  1. 1 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks Congressman Dingell.

  2. 2 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm


  3. 3 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  4. February 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  5. February 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    An extraordinary man, an extraordinary life – thank you Nerdy, a lovely post.

    • 17 Nerdy Wonka
      February 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks, Chips.

      I have always associated him with ObamaCare because I remember how hard he fought for that law. He did not back down then and he has never backed down or away from the law. He kept bringing up some form of healthcare reform year after year after year and I am so glad that he got to see President Barack Obama become POTUS, pass the Affordable Care Act, run on it, and win a second term.

      Fighting for the Civl Rights Act – which in the long term, proved he was on the right side of history – and ObamaCare, despite all the odds and hate thrown at him. Now, that’s a hero and a leader.

      Many more Democrats would be wise to take a page out of his playbook.

  6. February 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

  7. 20 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

  8. February 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Another lion leaves Congress. Thank you for your admirable service, Rep. Dingell.

  9. February 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    For some unknown reason the RNC thinks I am a republican. I continually get survey to fill out with requests for money. As long as they pay the postage I return them with some choice words. But today I received a survey with a list of “repub. leaders” and a request to rate them from strongly favorable to strongly unfavorable. I thought I’d let all of you know who is on the list. Ayotte, Barbour, John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Cain, Ben Carson, Christie, Cruz, Daniels, Gingrich, Nikki Haley, Huckabee, Jindal, Kasich, Peter King, Martinez, Palin, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Pawlenty, Pence, Perry, Portman, Condoleeza Rice, Rubio, Paul Ryan, Sandoval, Santorum, Tim Scott, Thune, Scott Walker, Allen West. There is a category for other. I checked all the above names as strongly unfavorable and for the “other” box I wrote in Joe Biden and checked stongly favorable.

    • 24 COS
      February 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      LOL. Love your response. I assume they are trying to pick the next golden boy or girl to run for President in 2016. 🙂

    • 26 carolyn
      February 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      I got one of those too….don’t know how they got my name. Beside Newt Gingrich, I wrote “Are you kidding!” Beside Rick Perry I wrote “No Brain” and beside Paul Ryan I wrote “No Heart.” Then I drew a big X through the whole page and wrote a choice message up at the top.
      I got a similar one from Romney’s campaign in 2012, and did something similar, and never got another mailing from them. Like you I make them pay the postage.
      That is indeed a rogues’ gallery!

    • 27 sherijr
      February 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Well done Diane… your checking other & putting in Joe gave me a LOL moment 🙂 Strongly Favorable 🙂

    • 28 jacquelineoboomer
      February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      I thought some of those Republicans were dead already. Or at least I hoped for some form of “gone” back to their home states.

    • February 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      Well done, Diane!!

    • 30 Judith Fardig
      February 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      I do that also and amazed at how poor the GOP microtargeting is if they have the likes of us on their mailing list. You could find out in 2 seconds how strong a Democrat I am.

  10. February 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm

  11. 32 Nerdy Wonka
    February 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

  12. 47 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    • 48 MightyPamela
      February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      “Sane Republicans”, in Arizona (or anywhere)?? I thought they were driven to extinction by the ‘crazy republicans’.

      • 49 donna dem 4 obama
        February 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        I think its more likely they have been silenced by the “crazy republicans” but even they couldn’t sit by and let this one happen.

    • 50 99ts
      February 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      The Chamber of Commerce and those “sane” republicans have seen the $$$$ disappearing – only reason for this. And those “sane” republicans were for the bill – before they were against the bill – money talks.

  13. 51 dotster3
    February 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Rep. Dingell first arrived in Congress, when he was 29 yrs. old, when Eisenhower was president. Pretty amazing. He said he is hoping his wife, Debbie, will run for his seat. I wonder how old she is. LOLGOP would be interesting—-and enjoyable.

  14. 55 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

  15. 58 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

  16. February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Fantastic Tribute, NW!! Thank you!!!

  17. February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Seems they caught a clue ….


  18. 83 donna dem 4 obama
    February 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

  19. 84 dotster3
    February 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    RIP Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day etc. guy, Harold Ramis— AND Barack Obama supporter!

  20. February 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm

  21. 87 GGail
    February 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    NW, this is a beautiful tribute to Congressman Dingell. I remember him as a fierce warrior when I lived in Detroit.

  22. 88 dotster3
    February 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  23. 89 dotster3
    February 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Brainwashed by American Evangelical missionaries, who are propagandizing and spreading hate and discrimination around the world.

  24. February 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

  25. February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Good point …

  26. February 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I just remembered this:

  27. 95 yardarm756
    February 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    As we come to the end of Black History Month, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind some and enlighten others. We all know there were others that came before Dr. MLK Jr., but even he had a mentor and someone he looked up to. Before Dr. King there was Vernon Johns.

    • 96 jacquelineoboomer
      February 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      What a treasure, Yardarm. Saved to read it fully. I must admit I skipped ahead to the “final years” section to see what happened to him, and found these two paragraphs of note. So much of what Dr. Johns said is totally attributable to today’s citizens, no matter their station or place on our country’s useless “color wheel.”

      (Sorry to copy so much here, but as you know, this is only a very small part of the link, and I thought it should have some context.)

      “Dr. Johns Speaks at Simmons University, Louisville, Kentucky” … It is not enough for a man to be dependent on jobs made by other people. The colored man must become interested in creating jobs and the source of economic wealth … He spoke to twelve graduates. He said colored people are academically literate, but socially illiterate. “We are steak conscious, but not steer conscious; we are bread conscious, but not grain conscious.” I have a suspicion that the power and force of the colored citizen is not keeping pace with his literary and academic achievements. He concluded that the group is advancing greatly in civics courses, but are only mediocre in citizenship …


      Probably in later summer 1960 there occurred a debacle for Vernon Johns at a convention of white and black preachers. About 150 preachers had met for lunch at the Seventh Baptist Church in Baltimore. It seems that Vernon was especially bothered by a white preacher’s sermon on Christian salvation about “being washed in the blood of the Lamb.” Following the end of the preacher’s talk, Johns immediately stood up, not waiting for any pleasantries. Branch … reported that Johns said that “The thing that disappoints me about the Southern white church is that it spends all of its time dealing with Jesus after the cross, instead of dealing with Jesus before the cross.” Of course, Johns was exactly right. Jesus as the spokesman for the poor was largely ignored by white Christians, who preferred to talk about the forgiveness of private sins through atonement and Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice. As Johns correctly said, “The church has not formally denounced the Sermon on the Mount. It has merely let it slide. I want to deal with Jesus before the cross. I don’t give a damn what happened to him after the cross.” But although Johns was right, he was still wrong, politically and socially speaking. Both sides were embarrassed by Johns’s remarks and the tentative brotherhood of black and white Baptist preachers in Baltimore was stifled as a collective movement. Soon afterwards Johns was asked to resign his position at the Maryland Center. He drifted off again to the sermon and lecture circuit. The Center no longer exists …

      … Branch sounded disappointed in Johns, expecting the prophet to be silent. But a prophet cannot be silent, cannot be a politician. It is simply not in the cards.

  28. February 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Legitimacy ….

  29. 99 Nena20409
    February 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I thank the representative for his 58 yrs in office. Historic and admirable.

    I did call for his retirement in the mid 2000s at D’Kos. I was severely attacked.

    I don’t like to see politicians stay that long in one post. Rep Dingell replaced his father who died in office. I hope that LOLGOP runs and not his wife. I am glad that he is retiring on his own terms.

    In a democracy, it is always better to have a diverse group, not diversity in having different members of ONE family in on district. Yes, it is up to that district, no doubt. But between the father and son…….almost a Century of One family as a representative is Not the American way.

    • 100 GGail
      February 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Nena, If a person is being beneficial and contributing something to the good cause, then I don’t feel we should call for them to step down.

      Did you call for Charlie Rangel or John Conyers to step down?

      • 101 Nena20409
        February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Yes, I did many times GGail and still do today. I admire Conyers. I have issues with Rangel.

        The only one I never called for his retirement was the late Beloved senator Ted Kennedy. I didn’t for he was not taking salary, but $1 and the loss of his siblings serving US. I was for the retirement of the late Robert Byrd. My opinions, of course. But the ones that mattered most were those in the states or districts that elected and re-elected their congressional officer.

  30. 103 Nena20409
    February 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Jay’s WH presser. 2-24-14

  31. 104 yardarm756
    February 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

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