Timeline: Major Events in Dingell’s Tenure

Posted February 10, 2009 at 5:57pm

1955

John Dingell is elected to replace his father, 12-term Rep. John Dingell Sr., after his death.

1957

Dingell joins the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, which later becomes the Energy and Commerce Committee.

1958

John Conyers, now the second most senior Member of the House, joins Dingell’s staff.

1963

Dingell’s committee shepherds the original Clean Air Act into law. He’s also instrumental in its 1990 amendments.

1965

Dingell oversees Medicare’s passage into law.

1973

Dingell’s Endangered Species Act becomes law, and he divorces his first wife and gets custody of their four children.

1975

Dingell’s Energy Policy and Conservation Act is signed into law.

1981

Dingell becomes chairman of the newly renamed Energy and Commerce Committee for the first time. (Henry Waxman chairs one of its subcommittees.) He also marries his second wife, Debbie (Insley) Dingell, then a lobbyist and now a senior executive at General Motors and vice chairwoman of the General Motors Foundation.

1984

Dingell sponsors the Insider Trading Sanctions Act.

1994

Dingell has his closest re-election, defeating Republican Ken Larkin with 59 percent of the vote.

1995

Democrats lose their majority in the House, so Dingell is demoted to ranking member at Energy and Commerce.

2003

Dingell has two heart operations to open a blocked artery.

2005

Dingell celebrates the 50th anniversary of his first election with a party at the National Building Museum.

2006

Democrats regain the majority in the House, and Dingell becomes chairman of Energy and Commerce again.

2008

Henry Waxman ousts Dingell as chairman of Energy and Commerce, and Dingell becomes chairman emeritus, taking an interest in health care legislation. Earlier in the year Dingell had surgery to replace his left knee.