Congressional Veterans

EVERYONE WILL HAVE heard by now that Michigan Democrat John Dingell today became the longest serving member of Congress.  (If not, one can easily catch up: see The Washington Post, National Journal, and Roll Call’s career in photos).  Yet how many know who ranks behind him?   Here are the top ten longest-serving members of Congress by length of service.  The final column indicates their reason for leaving.

What unites these men?  Firstly, they’re all just that: men.  Secondly, they were all elected in the 20th century.  And lastly, they’re all Democrats.  Less strikingly, the two left serving are both from Michigan.

John Dingell (D-Mich.)   57 years, 176 days Still serving
Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)   57 years, 176 days Died
Carl Hayden (D-Ariz.)   56 years, 319 days Retired
Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)   53 years, 118 days Died
Jamie L. Whitten (D-Miss.)   53 years, 60 days Retired
Carl Vinson (D-Ga.)   50 years, 61 days Retired
Emanuel Celler (D-N.Y.)   49 years, 305 days Lost election
Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)   48 years, 257 days Died
John Conyers (D-Mich.)   48 years, 155 days Still serving
Sidney R. Yates (D-Ill.)   48 years, 0 days Retired

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