Rep. Bill Young, longest-serving GOP member in House, dies at age 82

Story highlights

  • Rep. Young had served 22 terms in the U.S. House
  • Young, 82, announced last week he would not seek re-election
  • His family said earlier this week the congressman was "gravely ill"

Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, died Friday evening, his chief of staff said.

Harry Glenn said that C.W. Bill Young was surrounded by family when he died at 6:50 p.m. at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

"The cause of death was complications related to a chronic injury," Glenn said.

News of Young's death came two days after his family said in a statement that he was "gravely ill."

The 22-term representative wasn't on the House floor for the vote on reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling. Just last week, he announced that he wouldn't run for another term.

C.W. "Bill" Young was surrounded by family when he died at Walter Reed medical center, his chief of staff says.

"It's my time," the 82-year-old told the Tampa Bay Times in a phone interview. As to why he was retiring, Young said, "I don't know that I would pick out one thing. It's a lot of things."

Among them, Young said, was his frustration with congressional gridlock.

"I'm a little disappointed. It seems there's too much politics. It's a different Congress," he told the Times.

Young was first elected to the House in November 1970. After serving 10 years in the Florida State Senate and 43 years in the U.S. House, Young spent more than half a century in elected office. He served with a total of eight presidents.

During his tenure, Young was heralded for his expertise on defense issues. He chaired the full House Appropriations committee and its defense subcommittee during his tenure on Capitol Hill.

Former House Speaker Tom Foley dead at 84

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