Longest serving House Republican dead at 82
October 18th, 2013
08:02 PM ET
8 years ago

Longest serving House Republican dead at 82

(CNN) - Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, died Friday evening, his chief of staff said.

Harry Glenn said that C.W. Bill Young was surrounded by family when he died at 6:50 p.m. at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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"The cause of death was complications related to a chronic injury," Glenn said.

News of Young's death came two days after his family said in a statement that he was "gravely ill."

The 22-term representative wasn't on the House floor for the vote on reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling. Just last week, he announced that he wouldn't run for another term.

"It's my time," the 82-year-old told the Tampa Bay Times in a phone interview. As to why he was retiring, Young said, "I don't know that I would pick out one thing. It's a lot of things."

Among them, Young said, was his frustration with congressional gridlock.

"I'm a little disappointed. It seems there's too much politics. It's a different Congress," he told the Times.

Young was first elected to the House in November 1970. After serving 10 years in the Florida State Senate and 43 years in the U.S. House, Young spent more than half a century in elected office. He served with a total of eight presidents.

During his tenure, Young was heralded for his expertise on defense issues. He chaired the full House Appropriations committee and its defense subcommittee during his tenure on Capitol Hill.

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Dan Merica, and Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: Florida • House of Representatives
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    You served your district well for many years. RIP.

    October 18, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Lisa P.

    Sorry to hear this. RIP.

    October 18, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Nikki Marasco

    I had the honor of meeting Congressman Young in June of this year when I, along with my daughter & husband, went to DC to meet with Congress for Speak Now for Kids. We were representing All Children's Hospital in St. Pete, FL. The Congressman graciously met with my family for nearly 2 hours. His character & compassion were so genuine & obvious, it completely blew me away! While we were on "the hill" I simply expected to be treated respectfully, maybe even tolerated. The meeting we had with Congressman Young had such an impact on my family & myself words will never be able to express in any way other than overwhelming. I literally broke down into tears after our meeting was over. I simply fell in love & adored him as did my 6 yr old daughter! I had & will continue to have the up most respect for him! I will miss him dearly! My only regret, for my own selfishness, is that my family didn't get the opportunity to meet him sooner! God bless you Congressman Young! I pray you are free of pain & rejoicing in the arms of our Heavenly Father! May God bless your family with the strength & peace that they will need to get through this difficult time & the times yet to come. My heart & deepest condolences go to his family, friends & to his staff that I know loved him dearly.

    October 18, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |