Don Young

Official portrait, 2020 Donald Edwin Young (June 9, 1933 – March 18, 2022) was an American politician and educator from the state of Alaska. At the time of his death, he was the longest-serving Republican in congressional history, having been the U.S. representative for for 49 years, from 1973 until his death in 2022.

Born and raised in California, Young moved to Alaska in 1959 after a stint in the U.S. Army. He worked various careers, including sailing and teaching, in the small city of Fort Yukon, where he was elected mayor in 1964. He entered state politics two years later, when he won a seat in the Alaska House of Representatives, and advanced to the Alaska Senate in 1970. In 1972, he ran for a seat in the House of Representatives against incumbent Democrat Nick Begich. Weeks before the election, Begich disappeared and was presumed dead in a plane crash, though he still posthumously won the vote. Young ran in a special election to fill the vacant post the following year, defeating Democrat Emil Notti. He was reelected to the seat 24 times.

In Congress, Young chaired the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and the House Transportation Committee from 2001 to 2007. The Associated Press said that he was known for his "brusque" and "off-color" demeanor, and ''The New York Times'' described him as having "cultivated the image of a rugged frontiersman"; his prominent personality, long tenure, and position as his state's sole House member led to him occasionally being dubbed "Alaska's third senator". In the late 2000s, he was investigated as part of a wide-ranging probe into corruption among Alaska politicians, though no charges were ever filed against him.

Young became the 45th dean of the United States House of Representatives in December 2017, after John Conyers resigned. He was the last serving member of Congress who was first elected during the Nixon administration. Provided by Wikipedia