Two Levins beat three Kennedys

March 7, 2013
Sander and Carl Levin have 64 years of Congressional service between them. Photo by Melina Mara (The Washington Post)
Sander and Carl Levin have 64 years of Congressional service between them. Photo by Melina Mara (The Washington Post)

Three years ago I profiled Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the brothers who (at the time) held the chairmanships of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Yes, I noted Carl’s “prodigious comb-over” and compared Sandy’s voice to “the dull wheeze of a humidifier,” but I also made sure to define the pair’s noteworthiness: They were the first brothers since 1881 to serve simultaneously as chairmen, and no other siblings have served as long together in Congress. Carl, the younger Levin, announced today that he would not seek reelection next year. By the 2014 midterms, the Levin brothers will have officially surpassed the three Kennedy brothers’ 64½ combined years of Congressional service. For a detailed look at the brothers’ dynamic, read my profile. But please, don’t send me irate e-mails about the throwaway sentence that refers to President Obama’s adolescent marijuana habit; travel three years back in time and write a letter to the editor.

Dan Zak is a feature writer and general assignment reporter based in the Style section. He joined the Post in 2005, after stints as an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a city-desk reporter and obituary writer at The Buffalo News.
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