By Moira Warburton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The body of U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska, who was the longest-serving Republican member of Congress of any era when he died this month, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, where his fellow lawmakers will pay tribute.
«His reverence and devotion to the House shone through in everything that he did,» Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after his death was announced. «For five decades, he was an institution in the hallowed halls of Congress.»
Young, the only member in the House representing the state of Alaska, was first elected in 1973 and died on March 18 at age 88 on a flight from Washington back home to Alaska.
Young, who worked as a tugboat captain in Alaska in his youth, was described as ornery, temperamental, salty-tongued and acerbic. During one campaign debate he conceded that he could be both arrogant and a bully.
A formal ceremony will be held on Tuesday morning, which will be attended by Young’s family and guests and include remarks from Alaska’s U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.
While Young’s near half century in office made him the longest-serving member in the current House, he was not the all-time record holder. That record is held by the late Democratic Representative John Dingell Jr, who served 59 years before retiring in 2015. Dingell died in 2019.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)