John Dingell, U.S. Congress

Is your surname Dingell?

Research the Dingell family

John Dingell, U.S. Congress's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

John David Dingell, Jr.

Birthplace: Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, United States
Death: February 07, 2019 (92)
Dearborn, Wayne County, Michigan, United States (Prostate Cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of John D. Dingell, Sr., U.S. Congress and Grace Blossom Dingell
Husband of Debbie Dingell, U.S. Congress
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Christopher Dennis Dingell; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private and Private

Managed by: Tamás Flinn Caldwell-Gilbert
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About John Dingell, U.S. Congress

John David Dingell, Jr., (son of John David Dingell and husband of Debbie Dingell), a Representative from Michigan; born in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colo., July 8, 1926; attended Capitol Page School, Washington, D.C., and Georgetown Preparatory School, Garrett Park, Md.; Page, United States House of Representatives, 1938-1943; B.S., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 1949; J.D., Georgetown University Law School, Washington, D.C., 1952; United States Army, 1944-1946; lawyer, private practice; research assistant, United States Circuit Judge Theodore Levin, 1952-1953; assistant prosecuting attorney of Wayne County, Mich., 1954-1955; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1956, 1960, 1968, 1980 and 1984; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fourth Congress, by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his father, United States Representative John D. Dingell, Sr., and reelected to the twenty-nine succeeding Congresses (December 13, 1955-January 3, 2015); was not a candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress in 2014; chair, Committee on Energy and Commerce (Ninety-seventh through One Hundred Third Congresses and One Hundred Tenth Congress).


  • Congress Bio Guide
  • Wikipedia U.S. Congressman. He served in the United States House of Representatives from the 15th, 16th, and 12th Districts of Michigan from December 13, 1955 to January 3, 2015. His father, John David Dingell Sr., was also a Congressman from Michigan. He served as a page for the United States House of Representatives from 1938 to 1943. In 1944, he joined the United States Army and served until 1946, while rising to the rank of second lieutenant. After his military service ended, he attended Georgetown University and earned both a B.S. degree in chemistry in 1949 and a J.D. degree in 1952. He would go on to various occupations including lawyer, forest ranger, research assistant to a U.S. District Court judge, and an assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County, Michigan. In 1955, his father, a member of the United States House of Representatives, passed away and he decided to seek his father's seat. He ran, as a Democrat, in the special election and was successful. He went on to serve in Congress for over 59 years before retiring in January of 2015. During his tenure in the House, he was considered a "giant" in Congress and played a key role in signature pieces of legislation such as the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Affordable Care Act. He served as the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during two tenures (1981-1995, 2007-2009). At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving member in the history of the Congress and was the Dean of the House. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 by President Barack Obama. He was succeeded in Congress by his second wife, Debbie Dingell, in 2015. He passed away from terminal prostate cancer.
  • Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Feb 8 2019, 5:49:34 UTC

John Dingell was the United States's longest serving congressman. The Dearborn Michigan statesman was a champion of the auto industry and was credited with increasing access to health care, among other accomplishments. Dingell helped write most of America's major environmental and energy laws.Those laws include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from December 13, 1955, until January 3, 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the longest-serving U.S. Congressperson, representing what is now Michigan's 12th District, which includes Ford Motor Co.'s home base in Dearborn, for over 59 years. His wife, former General Motors executive Deborah Dingell, holds his former seat. A Democrat and son of a congressman, Dingell worked alongside 11 presidents for nearly six decades in the House of Representatives . One of Dingell's first acts was to re-introduce his father's National Health Insurance Bill. He introduced it every new session of Congress after that until the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. After retirement he became a Twitter phenomenon, winning more than 250,000 followers for his acerbic tweets about everything from the Kardashians to politicians to the Detroit Lions, as well as jokes about his own advanced age. His last tweet, in which he admitted being too weak to tweet on his own, but thanked people for their kind words and prayers, was made on Feb. 6, just one day before he died. John David Dingell Jr. was born on July 8, 1926, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the son of Grace (née Bigler) and Congressman John Dingell Sr. (1894–1955). In 1981, Dingell married Debbie Dingell,his second wife, who is 28 years his junior. He had four children from his first marriage to Helen Henebry, an airline flight attendant. They wed in 1952 and divorced in 1972.

In December 1955, at 29, Dingell won a special election to succeed his father, who had died three months earlier, while in his 12th term. On June 7, 2013, his 20,997th day as a member of the House, Dingell became the longest-serving member of Congress. His 57 years, five months and 26 days broke by one day the record set by the late West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who had died in office in 2010.  He retired on January 3, 2015 with a total tenure of 59 years, 21 days. His wife Debbie won the election to succeed him in November 2014 and took office in January 2015.She is the first non-widowed woman to immediately succeed her husband in Congress. On September 17, 2018, Dingell suffered an apparent heart attack and was hospitalized at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "Rumors of my demise may have only been slightly exaggerated, but I’m still here and you’re not done with me yet," Dingell tweeted. "Thankful for all of your thoughts, your prayers, and for @RepDebDingell. Just not in that order."  In 2019, Dingell entered hospice care, with terminal prostate cancer, for which he chose to forego treatment.

* Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Feb 8 2019, 5:51:42 UTC

view all

John Dingell, U.S. Congress's Timeline

July 8, 1926
Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, United States
February 23, 1957
February 7, 2019
Age 92
Dearborn, Wayne County, Michigan, United States