John Dingell to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony Nov. 24.

Along with Dingell, 18 other people will receive of the award.

Dingell, 88, is retiring after becoming the longest serving member of Congress when he earned the seat in 1955. He represents Michigan’s 12th Congressional District.

“John Dingell is a lifelong public servant, the longest serving Member of Congress in American history, and one of the most influential legislators in history,” read a statement released by the White House.

“Having represented Michigan in the House of Representatives since 1955, Mr. Dingell has fought for landmark pieces of legislation over the past six decades, from civil rights legislation in the 1960s, to legislation protecting our environment in the 1970s, to his persistent, determined fight for health care throughout his career, from Medicare to the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Dingell also served in the U.S. Army during World War II.”

He won election when he was 29 after the death of his father U.S. Rep. John Dingell Sr., who held the seat before him. The seat will stay in the family next year after the congressman’s wife, Debbie Dingell, won the seat during the Nov. 4 general election.

“It is especially meaningful to me to receive this recognition alongside such a distinguished and diverse group of individuals that truly represents the ideals and values that have made this nation great,” Dingell said in a statement.

“I am most humbled by this recognition, and I thank President Obama for his kindness in awarding me this prestigious honor.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)