SOUTHGATE, Mich. (AP) -- Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history and a champion of Detroit's auto industry, has announced his retirement.
The 87-year-old Michigan Democrat made the announcement Monday before a speech to a Detroit-area Chamber of Commerce.
Dingell has served in the U.S. House since winning his late father's seat in 1955. He became the longest-serving member of Congress ever in June when he broke the record held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Dingell has played a role in many major pieces of legislation, including President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and Medicare. As a congressional page, he watched President Franklin Roosevelt ask Congress to declare war on Japan.
There is speculation that Dingell's wife, Debbie Dingell, may run to replace him.
President Barack Obama says retiring U.S. Rep. John Dingell's ongoing battle for affordable health care may be the long-serving Democrat's "most remarkable" accomplishment.
Obama has joined other politicians in heaping praise on Dingell, who announced Monday that he isn't seeking re-election after his current term ends.
The president points out that the 87-year-old Dingell is an original author of the federal Affordable Care Act and "helped give millions of families the peace of mind of knowing they won't lose everything if they get sick."
Obama says Dingell fought to pass Medicare in 1965 and introduced health care legislation at the beginning of every session.
Gov. Rick Snyder says he and his wife Sue are proud to call themselves constituents of U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who's ending a 60-year career in Congress.
The Republican Snyder says in a statement Monday that the Democrat "Dingell has shown the unique ability to put politics aside and work across party lines to help improve the quality of life for those he represents."
"John Dingell is a supreme fighter for working men and women who has built a record of accomplishment second to none. I have known no better person in government during my 35 years in Congress. His rare combination of legislative skill, steely determination, hard work and generosity of spirit have helped him play a vital role in almost every major congressional initiative over the last half century, including the civil rights revolution, historic protections for the environment, the establishment of Medicare and passage of landmark health insurance reforms. Everyone who cares about Michigan has benefited from his tireless advocacy for our state." -- U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who also is retiring this year.
"Nobody has done more for Michigan than John Dingell. For nearly 60 years, the Dean of the House has dedicated his life to public service and has done so with honor and distinction. He has been a critical voice on important issues like civil rights, protecting the environment, supporting our auto industry, and strengthening health care in America. John has been a mentor and a personal friend, and it has been an honor to work with him to represent Michigan families." -- U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.