Former Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell died Thursday a day after his family revealed he was in hospice care Wednesday.
Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress in history, according to The Detroit News.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of John David Dingell, Jr., former Michigan Congressman … 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,” Democratic Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, Dingell’s wife, said in a statement. She now represents his former district.
Dingell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and wanted to share a message with his social media followers after the hospice announcement.
“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,” Dingell wrote on Twitter Wednesday, referencing his wife. “I want to thank you all for your incredibly kind words and prayers. You’re not done with me just yet.”
The former congressman had stepped down from office in 2014 after serving since 1955. He first came to represent Michigan’s 12th Congressional District after winning a special election following the death of his father, Rep. John D. Dingell Sr, according to Ballotpedia.
He helped draft many of the nation’s important environmental and energy laws, reported The Detroit News. He was also a big supporter of the Affordable Care Act.
“Let me just say this: You ain’t seen nothing yet. My dad was one of the authors of Social Security, [and] worked a long time to get it through. We finally — under your leadership, Madame Leader [Nancy Pelosi] — we got the Affordable Care Act,” Dingell said in March 2013.
Politico health care reporter Dan Diamond predicted his influence would outlast him through the progressive left’s push for Medicare for all.
“Dingell was one of the key architects — for nearly 60 years in the House! — in the movement that’s become Medicare-for-All,” Diamond wrote Wednesday after news broke that Dingell had entered hospice care.
Dingell was not a fan of President Donald Trump, having called on him to resign in August 2017.
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