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

In gold Currently serving
H Served in House (only for House and Senate combined categories)
S Served in Senate (only for House and Senate combined categories)
I Interruptions in service (only for total tenure categories)

House and Senate time

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
Name Party affiliation Total tenure time Uninterrupted time Reason for leaving
1 1 John Dingell (H) Democratic Party 58 years, 129 days 58 years, 129 days
2 2 Robert Byrd (H,S) Democratic Party 57 years, 176 days 57 years, 176 days Died
3 3 Carl Hayden (H,S) Democratic Party 56 years, 319 days 56 years, 319 days Retired
4 4 Daniel Inouye (H,S) Democratic Party 53 years, 118 days 53 years, 118 days Died
5 5 Jamie L. Whitten (H) Democratic Party 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days Retired
6 6 Carl Vinson (H) Democratic Party 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days Retired
7 7 Emanuel Celler (H) Democratic Party 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days Lost renomination
8 8 John Conyers (H) Democratic Party 49 years, 108 days 49 years, 108 days
9 9 Sam Rayburn (H) Democratic Party 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days Died
10 999 Sidney R. Yates (H,I) Democratic Party 48 years, 0 days n/a Retired
11 12 Strom Thurmond (S,I) Republican Party 47 years, 159 days 46 years, 57 days Retired
12 10 Wright Patman (H) Democratic Party 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days Died
13 11 Ted Kennedy (S) Democratic Party 46 years, 292 days 46 years, 292 days Died
14 999 Joseph Gurney Cannon (H,I) Republican Party 46 years, 0 days n/a Retired
15 13 Adolph J. Sabath (H) Democratic Party 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days Died
16 14 J. Lister Hill (H,S) Democratic Party 45 years, 142 days 45 years, 142 days Retired
17 15 George H. Mahon (H) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
18 16 Warren Magnuson (H,S) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Defeated
19 17 Charles Edward Bennett (H) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
20 18 Justin Smith Morrill (H,S) Republican Party 43 years, 299 days 43 years, 299 days Died
21 999 William B. Allison (H,S,I) Republican Party 43 years, 152 days n/a Died
22 19 Charles Melvin Price (H) Democratic Party 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days Died
23 20 Charles B. Rangel (H) Democratic Party 43 years, 108 days 43 years, 108 days
24 21 Bill Young (H) Republican Party 42 years, 288 days 42 years, 288 days Died
25 22 Henry M. Jackson (H,S) Democratic Party 42 years, 241 days 42 years, 241 days Died
26 999 Carter Glass (H,S,I) Democratic Party 42 years, 157 days n/a Died
27 23 John William McCormack (H) Democratic Party 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days Retired
28 24 John Sparkman (H,S) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
29 25 William R. Poage (H) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
30 26 Jack Brooks (H) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Defeated
31 27 Robert L. Doughton (H) Democratic Party 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Retired
32 28 Joseph William Martin, Jr. (H) Republican Party 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Lost renomination
33 29 Dave Obey (H) Democratic Party 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days Retired
34 30 Thad Cochran (H,S) Republican Party 41 years, 108 days 41 years, 108 days
35 31 Clarence Cannon (H) Democratic Party 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days Retired
36 32 John C. Stennis (S) Democratic Party 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days Retired
37 33 Don Young (H) Republican Party 41 years, 46 days 41 years, 46 days
38 34 Kenneth McKellar (H,S) Democratic Party 41 years, 30 days 41 years, 30 days Lost renomination
39 35 William Huston Natcher (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days Died
40 999 Claude Pepper (H,S,I) Democratic Party 40 years, 207 days n/a Died
41 36 William P. Frye (H,S) Republican Party 40 years, 157 days 40 years, 157 days Died
42 37 Ted Stevens (S) Republican Party 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days Defeated
43 38 Carl Curtis (H,S) Republican Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
44 39 Peter W. Rodino (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
45 40 Pete Stark (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Defeated
46 999 Jennings Randolph (H,S,I) Democratic Party 39 years, 364 days n/a Retired
47 999 Eugene Hale (H,S,I) Republican Party 39 years, 363 days n/a Retired
48 41 Leslie C. Arends (H) Republican Party 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days Retired
49 42 Daniel A. Reed (H) Republican Party 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days Died
50 43 George William Norris (H,S) Republican Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Defeated (Had become an Independent & was defeated by a Republican)
51 44 John Taber (H) Republican Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
52 45 William M. Colmer (H) Democratic Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
53 46 Patrick Leahy (S) Democratic Party 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
54 47 Chuck Grassley (H,S) Republican Party 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
55 48 Tom Harkin (H,S) Democratic Party 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
56 49 George Miller (H) Democratic Party 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
57 50 Henry Waxman (H) Democratic Party 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
58 51 Max Baucus (H,S) Democratic Party 39 years, 34 days 39 years, 34 days Resigned to become Ambassador to China
59 999 Samuel Smith (H,S,I) Democratic Party 39 years, 9 days n/a Retired
60 999 John Little McClellan (H,S,I) Democratic Party 38 years, 329 days n/a Died
61 52 Morris Sheppard (H,S) Democratic Party 38 years, 145 days 38 years, 145 days Died
62 53 Ernest Hollings (S) Democratic Party 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days Retired
63 54 Richard Russell, Jr. (S) Democratic Party 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days Died
64 999 John Sherman (H,S,I) Republican Party 38 years, 4 days n/a Resigned to become Secretary of the Treasury &
Resigned to become Secretary of State
65 55 Russell B. Long (S) Democratic Party 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days Retired
66 56 Frederick H. Gillett (H,S) Republican Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
67 57 Wilbur Mills (H) Democratic Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
68 58 Dante Fascell (H) Democratic Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
69 59 Robert H. Michel (H) Republican Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
70 999 Robert Crosser (H,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 305 days n/a Lost renomination
71 999 Robert L. F. Sikes (H,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 290 days n/a Retired
72 60 Nathaniel Macon (H,S) Democratic-Republican Party 37 years, 255 days 37 years, 255 days Resigned
73 61 Henry Cabot Lodge (H,S) Republican Party 37 years, 250 days 37 years, 250 days Died
74 62 Ed Markey (H,S) Democratic Party 37 years, 170 days 37 years, 170 days
75 63 Orrin Hatch (S) Republican Party 37 years, 108 days 37 years, 108 days
76 64 Barbara Mikulski (H,S) Democratic Party 37 years, 108 days 37 years, 108 days
77 65 Nick Rahall (H) Democratic Party 37 years, 108 days 37 years, 108 days
78 999 Alben W. Barkley (H,S,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 74 days n/a Resigned to become Vice President & Died
79 66 Henry B. Gonzalez (H) Democratic Party 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days Retired
80 999 Francis E. Warren (S,I) Republican Party 37 years, 6 days n/a Died
81 999 James Eastland (S,I) Democratic Party 36 years, 83 days n/a Resigned
82 67 Joe Biden (S) Democratic Party 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days Resigned to become Vice President
83 68 John Murtha (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days Died
84 69 Henry L. Dawes (H,S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
85 70 Felix Edward Hébert (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
86 71 Edward Boland (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
87 72 William Broomfield (H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
88 73 Dan Rostenkowski (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
89 74 Neal Edward Smith (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
90 75 Claiborne Pell (S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
91 76 Joseph M. McDade (H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
92 77 Paul Sarbanes (H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
93 78 Pete Domenici (S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
94 79 Ralph Regula (H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
95 80 Christopher Dodd (H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
96 81 Jim Oberstar (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
97 82 Richard Lugar (S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Lost renomination
98 83 Daniel Akaka (H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
99 84 Norm Dicks (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
100 85 Dale Kildee (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
101 999 Shelby Moore Cullom (H,S,I) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days n/a Retired
102 999 Henry Allen Cooper (H,I) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days n/a Defeated & Died
103 999 Howard W. Smith (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Lost renomination

Senate time

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
Name State represented Dates of service Total tenure time Uninterrupted time
1 1 Robert Byrd West Virginia January 3, 1959 – June 28, 2010 51 years, 176 days 51 years, 176 days
2 2 Daniel Inouye Hawaii January 3, 1963 – December 17, 2012 49 years, 349 days 49 years, 349 days
3 4 Strom Thurmond (I) South Carolina December 24, 1954 – April 7, 1956
November 7, 1956 – January 3, 2003
47 years, 159 days 46 years, 57 days
4 3 Ted Kennedy Massachusetts November 7, 1962 – August 25, 2009 46 years, 292 days 46 years, 292 days
5 5 Carl Hayden Arizona March 4, 1927 – January 3, 1969 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
6 6 John C. Stennis Mississippi November 7, 1947 – January 3, 1989 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days
7 7 Ted Stevens Alaska December 24, 1968 – January 3, 2009 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days
8 8 Patrick Leahy Vermont Since January 3, 1975 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
9 9 Ernest Hollings South Carolina November 8, 1966 – January 3, 2005 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days
10 10 Richard Russell, Jr. Georgia January 12, 1933 – January 21, 1971 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days
11 11 Russell B. Long Louisiana December 31, 1948 – January 3, 1987 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days
12 12 Orrin Hatch Utah Since January 3, 1977 37 years, 108 days 37 years, 108 days
13 999 Francis E. Warren (I) Wyoming November 18, 1890 – March 4, 1893
March 4, 1895 – November 24, 1929
37 years, 6 days n/a
14 999 James Eastland (I) Mississippi June 30 – September 28, 1941
January 3, 1943 – December 27, 1978
36 years, 83 days n/a
15 13 Warren Magnuson Washington December 18, 1944 – January 3, 1981 36 years, 20 days 36 years, 20 days
16 14 Joe Biden Delaware January 3, 1973 – January 15, 2009 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days
17 15 Claiborne Pell Rhode Island January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1997 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
18 16 Pete Domenici New Mexico January 3, 1973 – January 3, 2009 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
19 17 Richard Lugar Indiana January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2013 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days

House time

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
Name Total tenure time Uninterrupted time
1 1 John Dingell 58 years, 129 days 58 years, 129 days
2 2 Jamie L. Whitten 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days
3 3 Carl Vinson 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days
4 4 Emanuel Celler 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days
5 5 John Conyers 49 years, 108 days 49 years, 108 days
6 6 Sam Rayburn 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days
7 999 Sidney R. Yates (I) 48 years, 0 days n/a
8 7 Wright Patman 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days
9 999 Joseph Gurney Cannon (I) 46 years, 0 days n/a
10 8 Adolph J. Sabath 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days
11 9 George H. Mahon 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
12 10 Charles Edward Bennett 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
13 11 Charles Melvin Price 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days
14 12 Charles B. Rangel 43 years, 108 days 43 years, 108 days
15 13 Bill Young 42 years, 288 days 42 years, 288 days
16 14 John William McCormack 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days
17 15 William R. Poage 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
18 16 Jack Brooks 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
19 17 Robert L. Doughton 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
20 18 Joseph William Martin, Jr. 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
21 19 Dave Obey 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days
22 20 Clarence Cannon 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days
23 21 Don Young 41 years, 46 days 41 years, 46 days
24 22 William Huston Natcher 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days
25 23 Peter W. Rodino 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
26 24 Pete Stark 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
27 25 Leslie C. Arends 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days
28 26 Daniel A. Reed 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days
29 27 John Taber 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
30 28 William M. Colmer 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
31 29 George Miller 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
32 30 Henry Waxman 39 years, 108 days 39 years, 108 days
33 31 Wilbur Mills 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
34 32 Dante Fascell 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
35 33 Robert H. Michel 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
36 999 Robert Crosser (I) 37 years, 305 days n/a
37 999 Robert L. F. Sikes (I) 37 years, 290 days n/a
38 34 Nick Rahall 37 years, 108 days 37 years, 108 days
39 35 Henry B. Gonzalez 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days
40 36 Ed Markey 36 years, 256 days 36 years, 256 days
41 37 John Murtha 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days
42 38 Felix Edward Hébert 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
43 39 Edward Boland 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
44 40 William Broomfield 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
45 41 Dan Rostenkowski 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
46 42 Neal Edward Smith 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
47 43 Joseph M. McDade 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
48 44 Ralph Regula 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
49 45 Jim Oberstar 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
50 46 Norm Dicks 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
51 47 Dale Kildee 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
52 999 Henry Allen Cooper (I) 36 years, 0 days n/a
53 999 Howard W. Smith (I) 36 years, 0 days n/a

See also

References








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