Alaska Rep. Don Young, who was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the U.S. House, has died. He was 88. His office announced Young’s death in a statement Friday night.
“It’s with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we announce Congressman Don Young (R-AK), the Dean of the House and revered champion for Alaska, passed away today while travelling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved. His beloved wife Anne was by his side,” said the statement from Young’s congressional office.
A cause of death was not provided. Young’s office said details about plans for a celebration of Young’s life were expected in the coming days.
Who is Don Young?
Young, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1973, was known for his brusque style. In his later years in office, his off-colour comments and gaffes sometimes overshadowed his work. During his 2014 reelection bid, he described himself as intense and less-than-perfect but said he wouldn’t stop fighting for Alaska. Alaska has just one House member.
Born on June 9, 1933, in Meridian, California, Young grew up on a family farm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College, now known as California State University, Chico, in 1958. He also served in the U.S. Army, according to his official biography.
Young came to Alaska in 1959, the same year Alaska became a state, and credited Jack London’s “Call of the Wild,” which his father used to read to him, for drawing him north.
Don Young Cause of Death
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