Michigan Democrat John Dingell, an ardent advocate of the auto industry who has held his seat in Congress since 1955—longer than any other person in history—said that he will retire from the House of Representatives, a senior House Democratic aide said.
Dingell first entered Congress to finish his late father’s term, and went on to serve nearly six decades.
“I’m not going to be carried out feet first,” Dingell, 87, told The Detroit News. “I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.”
Dingell said that he will not seek re-election in November 2014.
In his heyday, Dingell wielded power as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and has shaped major laws for cleaner air and water, protecting endangered species, and providing health care for poor children.
Dingell also expressed disappointment with Congress.
“I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” he told The Detroit News. “It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.”