WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michigan Rep. John Dingell, who was first elected in 1955, will become the longest serving member of Congress in history Friday when he eclipses the record held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Dingell has held his seat for 57 years. In his long career, he has epitomized the power of the legislative branch and the changes it has undergone over the last century. Nicknamed "Big John" for his 6-foot-3 stature and sometimes imperious demeanor, he long presided as a powerful committee chairman and put his imprint on legislation in areas as varied as air quality, health care and energy.
He has also been known as one of Congress' toughest investigators. Now 86, Dingell says he has no plans to retire.