BioOn January 5, 2011, John D. Dingell was officially sworn in for his 29th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dingell proudly represents Michigan’s Fifteenth Congressional District, which includes parts of Wayne and Washtenaw County and all of Monroe County.
As the longest serving member of the United States House of Representatives in history, Dingell continues to be recognized as the Dean of the House.
Congressman Dingell is a senior member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to commerce, energy, environment, health care, consumer product safety and telecommunications. Dingell sits on all the Committee’s six subcommittee and votes on the Subcommittee on Health, the Subcommittee on Energy & Power, the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade & Manufacturing.
During the 111th Congress, Dingell had a lead role in crafting national health insurance reform legislation, and authored the Patient’s Bill of Rights. He also was the lead author of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the landmark reform to overhaul the nation’s food safety system by improving the capacity of FDA and manufacturers to prevent food safety problems and empowering them to detect and immediately respond to food-borne illness outbreaks. Dingell also authored legislation that that dramatically improves drug safety by strengthening FDA's ability to monitor the safety of drugs after they are on the market.
Dingell is known as “America’s Watchdog” for his relentless pursuit of exposing waste, fraud and abuse in government and the private sector through vigorous oversight.
Over the last five decades, Dingell has authored numerous renowned laws protecting our health and our environment, as well as the rights of workers and consumers. One notable legislative accomplishment is the 1990 Clean Air Act, which is credited with cleaning up the air we breathe, while preserving American competitiveness and protecting American jobs. He also fought to pass revolutionary legislation such as the Endangered Species Act; as well as laws affecting America's most pressing needs like the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Mammography Quality Standards Act, all of which he authored.
Dingell facilitated the creation of the "Do Not Call" list in 2003 to help families stop unwanted telemarketing. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, and senior member on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Dingell successfully passed legislation to create North America's first international wildlife refuge, protecting thousands of acres of natural habitat in Southeast Michigan. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy of Michigan, and led successful efforts to stop the Bush Administration from allowing higher arsenic levels in drinking water and from cutting funds to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes.
Dingell works to protect federal road funds for our communities and he led efforts in Congress to get hundreds of millions more in vital road dollars for Michigan. He played a central role in working with the City of Ann Arbor in 2010 to secure $13.9 million to replace the bridges over Stadium Boulevard. This funding will save more than $33 million a year in traffic delays, vehicle operation and crash costs, and will also generate more than $53 million in real economic benefit and create an estimated 450 jobs. In addition, he worked with officials in Wayne County to save local taxpayers more than $350 million of the cost to stop pollution of the Rouge River and has been relentless in his efforts to limit the importation of Canadian waste into Michigan. Dingell wrote the bill that created Michigan's Automobile National Heritage Area to conserve the story of America's auto industry.
John D. Dingell was born July 8, 1926 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Much of his childhood was divided between Detroit and Washington, DC, while his father, also named John, served as Congressman from Michigan's 15th district.
In 1944, at the age of 18, the younger Dingell joined the US Army and prepared to fight the Axis powers in World War II. He rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant and received orders to take part in the first wave of a planned invasion of Japan in November of 1945.
Dingell finished his military service in the fall of 1946 to attend Georgetown University where he studied chemistry. He continued his studies at Georgetown Law School, graduating in 1952. He then worked as a Park Ranger, a prosecuting attorney for Wayne County and ran his own private law practice. In 1955, his father passed away while still serving in Congress; and, the younger Dingell ran for Congress and won, beginning his career on Capitol Hill at the age of 29.
Dingell’s Southeast Michigan district is an ethnically diverse area with a wide range of business and industry. Light and heavy auto and manufacturing facilities and suppliers provide jobs for thousands of area residents. Southeast Michigan is on the cutting edge of high technology research and development for advanced vehicle batteries and is the home to numerous small clean energy technology, biotechnology and medical startups. The district is home to the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Concordia University, as well as, Wayne County Community College, Henry Ford Community College, Washtenaw Community College and Monroe County Community College.
Dingell is a devout Catholic. He enjoys hunting, reading and listening to classical music. He has four grown children and several grandchildren, and has been married to Debbie Insley Dingell for 30 years.