Dingell, longest-serving congressman, to retire

Associated Press file photo by J. Scott Applewhite -- U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. speaks Oct. 4, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. According to AP source: Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, to retire. Show caption
Associated Press file photo by J. Scott Applewhite -- U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. speaks Oct. 4, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. According to AP source: Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, to retire.

SOUTHGATE, Mich. — 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.