List of members of the United States Congress by longevity of service

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This is a list of United States congresspersons by longevity of service. It includes those Representatives and Senators who have served at least 36 years. It is divided up into several categories.

In cases where there is a tie in time the following criteria will sort people higher:

  1. Achieved time uninterrupted (total tenure rank only)
  2. Achieved time first
  3. Senators over representatives (House and Senate list only)
  4. Senate or House seniority (Dan Rostenkowski versus Neal Edward Smith)

The lists include fourteen currently serving members: John Dingell, John Conyers, Charles B. Rangel, Thad Cochran, Don Young, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Tom Harkin, George Miller, Henry Waxman, Ed Markey, Orrin Hatch, Barbara Mikulski, and Nick Rahall. It includes eighteen former members who are still alive: Daniel Akaka, Max Baucus, Joe Biden, William Broomfield, Norm Dicks, Christopher Dodd, Pete Domenici, Ernest Hollings, Dale Kildee, Richard Lugar, Joseph M. McDade, Robert H. Michel, Jim Oberstar, Dave Obey, Ralph Regula, Paul Sarbanes, Neal Edward Smith, and Pete Stark.

Key[edit]

In goldCurrently serving
HServed in House (only for House and Senate combined categories)
SServed in Senate (only for House and Senate combined categories)
IInterruptions in service (only for total tenure categories)

House and Senate time[edit]

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
NameParty affiliationTotal tenure timeUninterrupted timeReason for leaving
11John Dingell (H)Democratic Party58 years, 60 days58 years, 60 days
22Robert Byrd (H,S)Democratic Party57 years, 176 days57 years, 176 daysDied
33Carl Hayden (H,S)Democratic Party56 years, 319 days56 years, 319 daysRetired
44Daniel Inouye (H,S)Democratic Party53 years, 118 days53 years, 118 daysDied
55Jamie L. Whitten (H)Democratic Party53 years, 60 days53 years, 60 daysRetired
66Carl Vinson (H)Democratic Party50 years, 61 days50 years, 61 daysRetired
77Emanuel Celler (H)Democratic Party49 years, 305 days49 years, 305 daysLost renomination
88John Conyers (H)Democratic Party49 years, 39 days49 years, 39 days
99Sam Rayburn (H)Democratic Party48 years, 257 days48 years, 257 daysDied
10999Sidney R. Yates (H,I)Democratic Party48 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
1112Strom Thurmond (S,I)Republican Party47 years, 159 days46 years, 57 daysRetired
1210Wright Patman (H)Democratic Party47 years, 3 days47 years, 3 daysDied
1311Ted Kennedy (S)Democratic Party46 years, 292 days46 years, 292 daysDied
14999Joseph Gurney Cannon (H,I)Republican Party46 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
1513Adolph J. Sabath (H)Democratic Party45 years, 247 days45 years, 247 daysDied
1614J. Lister Hill (H,S)Democratic Party45 years, 142 days45 years, 142 daysRetired
1715George H. Mahon (H)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysRetired
1816Warren Magnuson (H,S)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysDefeated
1917Charles Edward Bennett (H)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysRetired
2018Justin Smith Morrill (H,S)Republican Party43 years, 299 days43 years, 299 daysDied
21999William B. Allison (H,S,I)Republican Party43 years, 152 daysn/aDied
2219Charles Melvin Price (H)Democratic Party43 years, 110 days43 years, 110 daysDied
2320Charles B. Rangel (H)Democratic Party43 years, 39 days43 years, 39 days
2421Bill Young (H)Republican Party42 years, 288 days42 years, 288 daysDied
2522Henry M. Jackson (H,S)Democratic Party42 years, 241 days42 years, 241 daysDied
26999Carter Glass (H,S,I)Democratic Party42 years, 157 daysn/aDied
2723John William McCormack (H)Democratic Party42 years, 58 days42 years, 58 daysRetired
2824John Sparkman (H,S)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysRetired
2925William R. Poage (H)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysRetired
3026Jack Brooks (H)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysDefeated
3127Robert L. Doughton (H)Democratic Party41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 daysRetired
3228Joseph William Martin, Jr. (H)Republican Party41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 daysLost renomination
3329Dave Obey (H)Democratic Party41 years, 276 days41 years, 276 daysRetired
3430Clarence Cannon (H)Democratic Party41 years, 69 days41 years, 69 daysRetired
3531John C. Stennis (S)Democratic Party41 years, 59 days41 years, 59 daysRetired
3632Thad Cochran (H,S)Republican Party41 years, 39 days41 years, 39 days
3733Kenneth McKellar (H,S)Democratic Party41 years, 30 days41 years, 30 daysLost renomination
3834Don Young (H)Republican Party40 years, 342 days40 years, 342 days
3935William Huston Natcher (H)Democratic Party40 years, 240 days40 years, 240 daysDied
40999Claude Pepper (H,S,I)Democratic Party40 years, 207 daysn/aDied
4136William P. Frye (H,S)Republican Party40 years, 157 days40 years, 157 daysDied
4237Ted Stevens (S)Republican Party40 years, 10 days40 years, 10 daysDefeated
4338Carl Curtis (H,S)Republican Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysRetired
4439Peter W. Rodino (H)Democratic Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysRetired
4540Pete Stark (H)Democratic Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysDefeated
46999Jennings Randolph (H,S,I)Democratic Party39 years, 364 daysn/aRetired
47999Eugene Hale (H,S,I)Republican Party39 years, 363 daysn/aRetired
4841Leslie C. Arends (H)Republican Party39 years, 362 days39 years, 362 daysRetired
4942Daniel A. Reed (H)Republican Party39 years, 352 days39 years, 352 daysDied
5043George William Norris (H,S)Republican Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysDefeated
5144John Taber (H)Republican Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysRetired
5245William M. Colmer (H)Democratic Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysRetired
5346Patrick Leahy (S)Democratic Party39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
5447Chuck Grassley (H,S)Republican Party39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
5548Tom Harkin (H,S)Democratic Party39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
5649George Miller (H)Democratic Party39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
5750Henry Waxman (H)Democratic Party39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
5851Max Baucus (H,S)Democratic Party39 years, 34 days39 years, 34 daysResigned to become Ambassador to China
59999Samuel Smith (H,S,I)Democratic Party39 years, 9 daysn/aRetired
60999John Little McClellan (H,S,I)Democratic Party38 years, 329 daysn/aDied
6152Morris Sheppard (H,S)Democratic Party38 years, 145 days38 years, 145 daysDied
6253Ernest Hollings (S)Democratic Party38 years, 55 days38 years, 55 daysRetired
6354Richard Russell, Jr. (S)Democratic Party38 years, 9 days38 years, 9 daysDied
64999John Sherman (H,S,I)Republican Party38 years, 4 daysn/aResigned to become Secretary of the Treasury &
Resigned to become Secretary of State
6555Russell B. Long (S)Democratic Party38 years, 3 days38 years, 3 daysRetired
6656Frederick H. Gillett (H,S)Republican Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
6757Wilbur Mills (H)Democratic Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
6858Dante Fascell (H)Democratic Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
6959Robert H. Michel (H)Republican Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
70999Robert Crosser (H,I)Democratic Party37 years, 305 daysn/aLost renomination
71999Robert L. F. Sikes (H,I)Democratic Party37 years, 290 daysn/aRetired
7260Nathaniel Macon (H,S)Democratic-Republican Party37 years, 255 days37 years, 255 daysResigned
7361Henry Cabot Lodge (H,S)Republican Party37 years, 250 days37 years, 250 daysDied
7462Ed Markey (H,S)Democratic Party37 years, 101 days37 years, 101 days
75999Alben W. Barkley (H,S,I)Democratic Party37 years, 74 daysn/aResigned to become Vice President & Died
7663Henry B. Gonzalez (H)Democratic Party37 years, 60 days37 years, 60 daysRetired
7764Orrin Hatch (S)Republican Party37 years, 39 days37 years, 39 days
7865Barbara Mikulski (H,S)Democratic Party37 years, 39 days37 years, 39 days
7966Nick Rahall (H)Democratic Party37 years, 39 days37 years, 39 days
80999Francis E. Warren (S,I)Republican Party37 years, 6 daysn/aDied
81999James Eastland (S,I)Democratic Party36 years, 83 daysn/aResigned
8267Joe Biden (S)Democratic Party36 years, 12 days36 years, 12 daysResigned to become Vice President
8368John Murtha (H)Democratic Party36 years, 3 days36 years, 3 daysDied
8469Henry L. Dawes (H,S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8570Felix Edward Hébert (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8671Edward Boland (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8772William Broomfield (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8873Dan Rostenkowski (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
8974Neal Edward Smith (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
9075Claiborne Pell (S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9176Joseph M. McDade (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9277Paul Sarbanes (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9378Pete Domenici (S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9479Ralph Regula (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9580Christopher Dodd (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9681Jim Oberstar (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
9782Richard Lugar (S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysLost renomination
9883Daniel Akaka (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9984Norm Dicks (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
10085Dale Kildee (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
101999Shelby Moore Cullom (H,S,I)Republican Party36 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
102999Henry Allen Cooper (H,I)Republican Party36 years, 0 daysn/aDefeated & Died
103999Howard W. Smith (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysLost renomination

Senate time[edit]

The 90th Congress was notable because for a period of 10 days (December 24, 1968 – January 3, 1969), it contained within its Senate all 10 of the longest-serving Senators in history until January 7, 2013, when Patrick Leahy surpassed Russell B. Long as the 10th longest serving Senator in history. This period stretched from the installation of Ted Stevens of Alaska after his appointment to fill a vacancy to the retirement of Carl Hayden of Arizona early the next year.

During almost all the 95th Congress, all but three of the people included in this list were serving together in the Senate. This period started with the installation of Orrin Hatch from Utah and Richard Lugar from Indiana, on January 3, 1977, and came to an end with the resignation of James Eastland from Mississippi on December 27, 1978.

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
NameState representedDates of serviceTotal tenure timeUninterrupted time
11Robert ByrdWest VirginiaJanuary 3, 1959 – June 28, 201051 years, 176 days51 years, 176 days
22Daniel InouyeHawaiiJanuary 3, 1963 – December 17, 201249 years, 349 days49 years, 349 days
34Strom Thurmond (I)South CarolinaDecember 24, 1954 – April 7, 1956
November 7, 1956 – January 3, 2003
47 years, 159 days46 years, 57 days
43Ted KennedyMassachusettsNovember 7, 1962 – August 25, 200946 years, 292 days46 years, 292 days
55Carl HaydenArizonaMarch 4, 1927 – January 3, 196941 years, 305 days41 years, 305 days
66John C. StennisMississippiNovember 7, 1947 – January 3, 198941 years, 59 days41 years, 59 days
77Ted StevensAlaskaDecember 24, 1968 – January 3, 200940 years, 10 days40 years, 10 days
88Patrick LeahyVermontSince January 3, 197539 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
99Ernest HollingsSouth CarolinaNovember 8, 1966 – January 3, 200538 years, 55 days38 years, 55 days
1010Richard Russell, Jr.GeorgiaJanuary 12, 1933 – January 21, 197138 years, 9 days38 years, 9 days
1111Russell B. LongLouisianaDecember 31, 1948 – January 3, 198738 years, 3 days38 years, 3 days
1212Orrin HatchUtahSince January 3, 197737 years, 39 days37 years, 39 days
13999Francis E. Warren (I)WyomingNovember 18, 1890 – March 4, 1893
March 4, 1895 – November 24, 1929
37 years, 6 daysn/a
14999James Eastland (I)MississippiJune 30 – September 28, 1941
January 3, 1943 – December 27, 1978
36 years, 83 daysn/a
1513Warren MagnusonWashingtonDecember 18, 1944 – January 3, 198136 years, 20 days36 years, 20 days
1614Joe BidenDelawareJanuary 3, 1973 – January 15, 200936 years, 12 days36 years, 12 days
1715Claiborne PellRhode IslandJanuary 3, 1961 – January 3, 199736 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
1816Pete DomeniciNew MexicoJanuary 3, 1973 – January 3, 200936 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
1917Richard LugarIndianaJanuary 3, 1977 – January 3, 201336 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days

House time[edit]

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
NameTotal tenure timeUninterrupted time
11John Dingell58 years, 60 days58 years, 60 days
22Jamie L. Whitten53 years, 60 days53 years, 60 days
33Carl Vinson50 years, 61 days50 years, 61 days
44Emanuel Celler49 years, 305 days49 years, 305 days
55John Conyers49 years, 39 days49 years, 39 days
66Sam Rayburn48 years, 257 days48 years, 257 days
7999Sidney R. Yates (I)48 years, 0 daysn/a
87Wright Patman47 years, 3 days47 years, 3 days
9999Joseph Gurney Cannon (I)46 years, 0 daysn/a
108Adolph J. Sabath45 years, 247 days45 years, 247 days
119George H. Mahon44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 days
1210Charles Edward Bennett44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 days
1311Charles Melvin Price43 years, 110 days43 years, 110 days
1412Charles B. Rangel43 years, 39 days43 years, 39 days
1513Bill Young42 years, 288 days42 years, 288 days
1614John William McCormack42 years, 58 days42 years, 58 days
1715William R. Poage42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 days
1816Jack Brooks42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 days
1917Robert L. Doughton41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 days
2018Joseph William Martin, Jr.41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 days
2119Dave Obey41 years, 276 days41 years, 276 days
2220Clarence Cannon41 years, 69 days41 years, 69 days
2321Don Young40 years, 342 days40 years, 342 days
2422William Huston Natcher40 years, 240 days40 years, 240 days
2523Peter W. Rodino40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 days
2624Pete Stark40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 days
2725Leslie C. Arends39 years, 362 days39 years, 362 days
2826Daniel A. Reed39 years, 352 days39 years, 352 days
2927John Taber39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 days
3028William M. Colmer39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 days
3129George Miller39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
3230Henry Waxman39 years, 39 days39 years, 39 days
3331Wilbur Mills38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 days
3432Dante Fascell38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 days
3533Robert H. Michel38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 days
36999Robert Crosser (I)37 years, 305 daysn/a
37999Robert L. F. Sikes (I)37 years, 290 daysn/a
3834Henry B. Gonzalez37 years, 60 days37 years, 60 days
3935Nick Rahall37 years, 39 days37 years, 39 days
4036Ed Markey36 years, 256 days36 years, 256 days
4137John Murtha36 years, 3 days36 years, 3 days
4238Felix Edward Hébert36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4339Edward Boland36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4440William Broomfield36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4541Dan Rostenkowski36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4642Neal Edward Smith36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4743Joseph M. McDade36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4844Ralph Regula36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
4945Jim Oberstar36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
5046Norm Dicks36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
5147Dale Kildee36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 days
52999Henry Allen Cooper (I)36 years, 0 daysn/a
53999Howard W. Smith (I)36 years, 0 daysn/a

See also[edit]

References[edit]