ANN ARBOR (AP) – Former Michigan congressman John Dingell is donating his papers from 59 years in the U.S. House to the University of Michigan.

Dingell’s papers and other materials are going to the Bentley Historical Library. The school awarded him an honorary law doctorate last Saturday.

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The 88-year-old Dearborn Democrat served in the House from December 1955 to December 2014, the longest term of any member in history.

Dingell’s wife, Debbie Dingell, was elected to succeed him and took office in January.

“I consider myself the luckiest guy in shoe leather for having the opportunity to serve the good people of southeast Michigan for as long as I did, and it is a real honor that the work we all did together will be documented here at this fine institution,” John Dingell said in a statement.

Dingell’s collection covers 550 linear feet and includes correspondence, copies of bills that he introduced and photos, the university said.

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Dingell is “one of the great members of Congress in Michigan history,” Bentley Director Terrence McDonald said in a statement. “Given the breadth of issues with which he was involved and the historic length of his service, anyone wishing to write the history of national politics in the 20th century will need to consult them.”

According to the university, the Bentley library has the papers of 31 Michigan governors, 15 U.S. senators and 16 members of the U.S. House. They include John Dingell Sr., who served in the House from 1933-1955.

The university also announced Wednesday that John Dingell will make a series of appearances at its campus in Dearborn, where he will discuss labor, environmental and health politics, among other issues, with students in the liberal arts college.

 

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