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Funeral, memorial planned for longtime US Rep. John Dingell

11 February 2019

Dingell used his power in the House of Representatives to expose government fraud and defend the interests of his home state Michigan's automobile industry, died on February 7 at the age of 92.

Dingell, who retired in 2015 as the longest serving member of Congress, then thanked his wife for being at his side for 40 years and for her own public service.

However, we would be lying if we didn't at least take a moment to appreciate Dingell's social media prowess and his mastery of the Twitter clapback.

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His investigations led to the resignation of former Stanford University President Donald Kennedy after the California school misused hundreds of millions of dollars in federal research funds, and the criminal conviction of one of President Ronald Reagan's top advisers, Michael Deaver, for lying under oath.

Before John died, Debbie tweeted earlier this week that she would not be in Washington, D.C., and was home with him "taking each day as it comes".

Kasich, who spoke to The Associated Press after reports that Dingell was in hospice but before his death, recalled the Democrat's power and toughness as well as his kindness and collegiality - traits that transferred well to Twitter.

Dingell was a force on the Energy and Commerce Committee for almost three decades, chairing the panel from 1981 until 1995, when he became ranking member for the next 12 years.

Obama pointed to the Civil Rights Act, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act as specific contributions Dingell made to American society.

His critics called him overpowering and intimidating, and his Washington office was decorated with big game trophies.

With the expansion of Twitter, Dingell became known for his commentary on current events through snarky and sometimes hard-hitting tweets that often went viral.

"John Dingell will forever be remembered as "The Dean" of Congress not simply for the length of his service, but for his unparalleled record of legislative accomplishments", Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday in a statement.

Dingell was "a beloved pillar of the Congress and one of the greatest legislators in American history", said a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Dingell and his health subcommittee chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, fought endlessly over energy and environmental issues. "He is my love and we have been a team for almost 40 years", she wrote on Twitter.

Last September John Dingell suffered a heart attack and spent a week at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Funeral, memorial planned for longtime US Rep. John Dingell