At a Glance
- Career History: Wayne County, Michigan assistant prosecuting attorney, (1954 to 1955); Practicing attorney, (1952 to 1953); U.S. Army, (1944 to 1946)
- Birthday: July 8, 1926
- Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Alma Mater: Georgetown University, B.S., 1949, and J.D., 1952
- Spouse: Debbie Dingell
- Committees: House Energy and Commerce
- DC Office: 2328 Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515Phone: (202) 225-4071
- District Offices: Dearborn, (313) 278-2936; Monroe, (734) 243-1849; Ypsilanti,(734) 481-1100
- Web site
Path to Power
Dingell was born on July 8, 1926, in Colorado Springs, Colo., and grew up in Detroit and Washington, D.C. because his father, John, was the congressman from Michigan's 15th district, the same area the junior Dingell now represents.
In 1944, 18-year-old Dingell enlisted in the Army during World War II and rose to second lieutenant. He was set to take part in the planned invasion of Japan in Nov. 1945 and has said that President Harry S. Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb saved his life.
Though seen as a moderate Democrat, Dingell has voted with a majority of House Democrats more than 97 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.
In the past, the hunter has opposed gun control, but he voted for 1994's crime bill and resigned from the board of the National Rifle Association. He was also one of few Democrats to vote for the Gulf War resolution in 1991, though he voted against the Iraq war resolution in 2002.
Dingell quickly found out who his friends were when Waxman issued the challenge to his chairmanship. He quickly assembled a group of 26 supporters, called a "whip team," who began making phone calls on his behalf. Co-chairs are Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), and Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.). Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm also publicly expressed her support.
Dingell is also heavily backed by the auto industry, who is depending on his clout for help in the economic crisis. Dingell's top five career donors are General Motors, the Ford Motor Company, BellSouth, DaimlerChrysler, and AT&T.