Washington mourns former Rep. John Dingell
Former presidents, colleagues in Congress share tributes to the Detroit Democrat
The longest-serving member of Congress in history, Rep. John Dingell made an indelible impact on Capitol Hill, the nation’s laws and those who served with him.
“John Dingell’s life reminds us that change does not always come in a flash, but instead with a steady, determined effort,” former President Barack Obama said.
“He had a tradition of introducing legislation on the first day of each new Congress to guarantee health care for every single American. Because of him, we’ve come closer to that vision than ever before,” Obama said in a statement Thursday after news broke of Dingell’s death at 92.
Former President George W. Bush said he had spoken to Dingell on Thursday and said he thanked him “for being an example to those who have followed him into the public arena.”
“He was a gentleman who showed great respect for our country and her people. He represented his district with decency and honor,” Bush said in a statement.
Later in life, Dingell became known to a younger generation for his wit on Twitter. On Thursday night, Washington tweeted out tributes to the Detroit Democrat.
Former President Barack Obama
We lost two great Americans today – Frank Robinson and John Dingell – citizens who inspired me and so many others by leading on the civil rights issues of our time, opening doors to others, and leaving it all on the field.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 8, 2019
Former President Bill Clinton
For nearly 60 years, John Dingell represented the people of Michigan with honor, integrity & great good humor. There are few major legislative triumphs since 1955 that he didn’t have a key hand in passing. Hillary & I are grateful to have worked with him & called him our friend.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) February 8, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden
John Dingell was the Dean of the House. He earned that title — not just because he was there the longest — but because he led with great moral courage and vision. He was a friend and I will miss him terribly. Debbie is in my prayers.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 8, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
America has lost a beloved pillar of the Congress & one of the greatest legislators in our history. @JohnDingell’s entire life was lived in service to our country. His leadership played an important role in the passage of both #Medicare and the #ACA. https://t.co/1nt6YqB0oe
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 8, 2019
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
John D. Dingell was my friend. He was a man of indefatigable spirit who loved life, @RepDebDingell & the House. With his passing, our nation loses a giant whose vision helped improve the lives of millions of Americans over the course of his career. https://t.co/1iS2bGedYA
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) February 8, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Rep. @JohnDingell was a giant. A master legislator and someone who loved the House, loved Michigan, and loved the country.
It was a privilege to get know John and work with him. My thoughts are with his family and his wife, @RepDebDingell.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 8, 2019
Former Sen. Hillary Clinton
I, our country, and Twitter will miss @JohnDingell’s quick wit, good heart, and profound sense of patriotism. My thoughts are with @RepDebDingell, the whole Dingell family, and the wide community of friends, constituents, and fellow Americans who admired and respected him.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 8, 2019
Sen. Rob Portman
I had the chance to get to know John Dingell when I served in the House. Big John was a legendary figure in the history of the Congress, and it was an honor to call him my friend. Jane & I are sending our love and prayers to Debbie and the entire Dingell family.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) February 8, 2019
Rep. Dave Loebsack
So sad to hear of John Dingell’s passing. It was an honor to serve with him. Terry and my thoughts are with @RepDebDingell and the rest of the Dingell family during this difficult time https://t.co/dPkJqCFzsc
— Dave Loebsack (@daveloebsack) February 8, 2019
Rep. Fred Upton
John Dingell was enormous in stature, integrity, and accomplishments. I was always inspired and awed by him.
There is a reason a Dingell has always represented SE Michigan for over 80 years.
My wife Amey and I express our deepest condolences to his family during this time. pic.twitter.com/aAEOUt4Mlx
— Fred Upton (@RepFredUpton) February 8, 2019
Rep. Bob Latta
Marcia and I extend our deepest sympathies to Debbie and family on the passing of John. John epitomized public service in always placing the people of Michigan before himself. He was passionate in all he did and has left a lasting legacy on the US House. He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/FVFJqGE09t
— U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (@boblatta) February 8, 2019
Rep. John Moolenaar
John Dingell was a dedicated public servant who was deeply committed to his principles, his constituents, the House of Representatives, his sports teams, and his beloved Debbie. As the longest serving member of Congress he was a part of historic moments for more than six decades. pic.twitter.com/9CKJrmWnvi
— Rep. John Moolenaar (@RepMoolenaar) February 8, 2019
Sen. Gary Peters
John was a true statesman: he embodied the values, spirit, & dedication that all public servants should aspire to have. He was a mentor to me & countless others who sought to give back to their communities. I will never forget his wise counsel as I learned my way around Congress. pic.twitter.com/DB0P3Up7x8
— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) February 8, 2019
Rep. Adam Schiff
John Dingell was a giant of the House. A commanding presence, wonderful colleague and rapier wit — who would tell you if you did not merit 140 characters.
Few people in history have left a more profound impact on the House of Representatives. We will miss you, Mr. Chairman. https://t.co/GBKIH1wiSj
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 8, 2019
Rep. Justin Amash
May his memory be eternal. It is an honor to have served with John. He was distinguished, kind, and funny—nobody could match his wit on Twitter. Praying for @RepDebDingell, their family, and friends. https://t.co/rJOuNcjf7L
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 8, 2019
Sen. Sherrod Brown
Our hearts are breaking for @RepDebDingell and all those who knew and loved @JohnDingell. He was an institution. And because my own words can’t do justice to John’s life and legacy, I’d like to share some of his instead:
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) February 8, 2019
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
Sending my love to the Dingell family tonight. John was an incredible leader and statesman, and I was lucky to serve with him in the House. Prayers for peace and comfort during this time.
— Shelley Moore Capito (@SenCapito) February 8, 2019
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
I had the honor of serving alongside John Dingell in Congress & working with him from the Obama & Clinton White Houses. He never forgot where he came from & always knew who he was there to speak for. Our nation owes him a deep debt of gratitude for a lifetime of selfless service. pic.twitter.com/TPiFgzS1uK
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel (@ChicagosMayor) February 8, 2019
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Crushed to hear that my dear friend, John Dingell, has passed away. John’s legacy of service was as immense as his impact on our country. All my love and deepest condolences to his family.
— Carolyn B. Maloney (@CarolynBMaloney) February 8, 2019
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
During his 60yrs in Congress Dingell fought for, crafted or shaped, numerous laws that we take for granted now, including Medicare, the Civil Rights Act and key environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. https://t.co/ERlWfeN3al
— Senator Amy Klobuchar (@SenAmyKlobuchar) February 8, 2019
Sen. Jeff Merkley
.@JohnDingell was a champion for Michiganders and all hardworking Americans. I am saddened by the loss of the Dean. His was an American life well lived, and he will be missed by all. My thoughts are with @RepDebDingell and his entire family.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) February 8, 2019
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Rest In Peace, #JohnDingell. It was an honor to serve with a giant of Congress who helped write the Affordable Care Act & cared about oversight of the executive branch. His work will live on through his wife @RepDebDingell & a new generation inspired by his sick Twitter burns.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) February 8, 2019
Rep. Michael Burgess
Chairman John Dingell was a lifelong public servant and legislative giant. His matchless wisdom, persistence, and humor will be sorely missed in the halls of Congress, and especially in the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing room that bears his name.
— Michael Burgess, MD (@michaelcburgess) February 8, 2019
Rep. Ted Deutch
When I got to Congress, John sat me down to give me advice: “You’re not important. It’s what you can now do to help others that’s important. If you never forget that, you’ll do fine.”
John never forgot, and he helped millions. A very fine life indeed. RIP https://t.co/lOFViWnLiy
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) February 8, 2019