From the Associated Press:
Republican Rep. Bill Young, Florida’s longest-serving member of Congress and a defense hawk who was influential on military spending during his 43 years in Washington, died Friday. He was 82.
His chief of staff, Harry Glenn, said in an email that Young died at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he had been for nearly two weeks with back problems that stemmed from a 1970 small plane crash.
Glenn’s email included a statement from Young’s family, saying the family was with Young when he died. It continued, “The cause of death was complications related to a chronic injury. Information on services will be forthcoming.”
On Oct. 9, from his hospital bed, Young announced that he would not seek another term in 2014.
As one of the strongest defense supporters in Congress, Young made headlines in 2012 when he said the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. Young told The Associated Press at the time that “we’re killing kids who don’t need to die,” and reflected the growing weariness with a conflict that had dragged on for more than a decade.
Young, who had been involved in Florida politics since 1957, was considered the elder statesman of Florida’s Republican Party and in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served 22 terms in Congress.