Governor Eric Holcomb on Friday directed flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former U.S. Representative John David Dingell, Jr., the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.
Adding to Dingell's image as the auto industry's man in Washington was his second marriage, in 1981, to the former Deborah Insley, a General Motors Corp. lobbyist 27 years his junior.
John Dingell, the longest serving congressman in U.S. history, has died aged 92. "We are a stronger, safer, healthier nation because of Congressman Dingell's 59 years of service, and his work will continue to improve the lives of Michiganders for generations to come".
- November 8, 1932: John Dingell Sr.is elected to Congress as a "New Deal" Democrat.
Not five decades ago, much of the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth - our own Great Lakes - were closed to swimming and fishing and other recreational pursuits because of chemical and bacteriological contamination from untreated industrial and wastewater disposal. He spent 59 years representing MI in the U.S. House of Representatives before retiring in 2015.
Mr Dingell served through the terms of 11 United States presidents.
From 1981 until 2009, Dingell was the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dingell was also "an investigative powerhouse", according to the the New York Times.
Among the landmark laws he supported were Medicare, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. "And he's a great tweeter as well".
Those who worked for Dingell said he was never just a boss. He built a following of more than 250,000 users, dwarfing that of many current members of Congress.
Dingell was a fierce critic of President Trump and his environmental agenda, anxious about Republicans rolling back some of his achievements.
In a Thanksgiving greeting, he managed to combine many of his favorite Twitter topics and targets: "Our President may be a sentient sack of sweet potatoes and awful ideas, but I'm sure thankful the American (s) came out in droves to put a check on him and his cronies this past election".
He thanked his friends and family - especially his wife, Rep. Throughout his lifetime of public service, John was a fierce advocate for the people of MI and was guided by a love of country.
Along with his wife, Dingell is survived by two daughters, two sons, one of whom served 15 years in the Michigan Legislature, and several grandchildren. "But it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"
He was first elected in 1955 and announced in 2014 that he would not be seeking a 30th term in the House.
In his later years as a legislator, Dingell navigated Capitol Hill in a motorized scooter bearing a vanity plate emblazoned with the words "THE DEAN", the title for the longest-serving member of the House.
"He was very John Dingell in what he had to say, made them both laugh and gave them very clear serious instructions", she said. "The President (Franklin D. Roosevelt) declared war the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (December 8, 1941)".
"All of these challenges were addressed by Congress".
When he was 18, Dingell enlisted into the US Army, nearly three years after he watched Roosevelt deliver his famous "Day of Infamy" address to Congress.