LANSING, Mich. — Five things to know about U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who announced Monday he will not seek re-election, capping what will be 59 years in Congress when he leaves at the end of the year:
PRESIDENTS: Dingell served with — not under, as he says — 11 presidents. As a House page in 1941 when his dad was a congressman, he watched President Franklin D. Roosevelt deliver the "Day of Infamy" speech after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
INFLUENCE: Few members can claim the influence of the Michigan Democrat, who put his imprint on legislation in areas as varied as air quality, consumer protection, energy and the auto industry. He presided over the House when it passed Medicare. He loaned the gavel to Speaker Nancy Pelosi 45 years later when the Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010.
AUTOS: Until 2009, Dingell was the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee for 28 years and is an old-school supporter of the car industry. He angered environmentalists for fending off pressure for higher emission standards and lost the chairmanship after a bitter fight within party ranks.
ONE LAW STANDS OUT: Dingell said the most significant law he supported was the 1964 Civil Rights Act. "Damn near lost an election over it," he said last year.
PARTISANSHIP: Dingell has a reputation for being hard-nosed but also maintaining the old congressional tradition of cordiality with colleagues, friend and foe. "This place has become excessively partisan," he said, adding "there are so many internal pressures and external pressures that make it this way. They want to see angry people."