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 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)

Key[edit]

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)

Combined House and Senate time[edit]

Total
tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
tenure
rank
Name Party
affiliation
Total
tenure
Uninterrupted
tenure
Reason
for
leaving
1 1 John Dingell (H) Democratic 59 years, 21 days 59 years, 21 days Retired
2 2 Robert Byrd (H, S) Democratic 57 years, 176 days 57 years, 176 days Died
3 3 Carl Hayden (H, S) Democratic 56 years, 319 days 56 years, 319 days Retired
4 4 Daniel Inouye (H, S) Democratic 53 years, 118 days 53 years, 118 days Died
5 5 Jamie Whitten (H) Democratic 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days Retired
6 6 John Conyers (H) Democratic 52 years, 336 days 52 years, 336 days Resigned
7 7 Carl Vinson (H) Democratic 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days Retired
8 8 Emanuel Celler (H) Democratic 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days Lost renomination
9 9 Sam Rayburn (H) Democratic 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days Died
10 999 Sidney R. Yates (H, I) Democratic 48 years, 0 days n/a Retired
11 12 Strom Thurmond (S, I) Democratic,
Republican
47 years, 159 days 46 years, 57 days Resigned and Retired
12 10 Wright Patman (H) Democratic 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days Died
13 11 Ted Kennedy (S) Democratic 46 years, 292 days 46 years, 292 days Died
14 13 Charles Rangel (H) Democratic 46 years, 0 days 46 years, 0 days Retired
15 999 Joseph Gurney Cannon (H, I) Republican 46 years, 0 days n/a Defeated, Defeated, and Retired
16 14 Adolph J. Sabath (H) Democratic 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days Died
17 15 J. Lister Hill (H, S) Democratic 45 years, 142 days 45 years, 142 days Retired
18 16 Don Young (H) Republican 45 years, 123 days 45 years, 123 days
19 17 Thad Cochran (H, S) Republican 45 years, 87 days 45 years, 87 days Resigned
20 18 George H. Mahon (H) Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
21 19 Warren Magnuson (H, S) Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Defeated
22 20 Charles Edward Bennett (H) Democratic 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days Retired
23 21 Justin Smith Morrill (H, S) Whig,
Republican
43 years, 299 days 43 years, 299 days Died
24 22 Patrick Leahy (S) Democratic 43 years, 185 days 43 years, 185 days
25 23 Chuck Grassley (H, S) Republican 43 years, 185 days 43 years, 185 days
26 999 William B. Allison (H, S, I) Republican 43 years, 152 days n/a Retired and Died
27 24 Charles Melvin Price (H) Democratic 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days Died
28 25 Bill Young (H) Republican 42 years, 288 days 42 years, 288 days Died
29 26 Henry M. Jackson (H, S) Democratic 42 years, 241 days 42 years, 241 days Died
30 999 Carter Glass (H, S, I) Democratic 42 years, 157 days n/a Resigned to become Secretary of the Treasury and Died
31 27 John William McCormack (H) Democratic 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days Retired
32 28 John Sparkman (H, S) Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
33 29 William R. Poage (H) Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Retired
34 30 Jack Brooks (H) Democratic 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days Defeated
35 31 Robert L. Doughton (H) Democratic 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Retired
36 32 Joseph William Martin Jr. (H) Republican 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days Lost renomination
37 33 Dave Obey (H) Democratic 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days Retired
38 34 Ed Markey (H, S) Democratic 41 years, 247 days 41 years, 247 days
39 35 Orrin Hatch (S) Republican 41 years, 185 days 41 years, 185 days
40 36 Clarence Cannon (H) Democratic 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days Retired
41 37 John C. Stennis (S) Democratic 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days Retired
42 38 Kenneth McKellar (H, S) Democratic 41 years, 30 days 41 years, 30 days Lost renomination
43 39 William Natcher (H) Democratic 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days Died
44 999 Claude Pepper (H, S, I) Democratic 40 years, 207 days n/a Lost renomination and Died
45 40 William P. Frye (H, S) Republican 40 years, 157 days 40 years, 157 days Died
46 41 Ted Stevens (S) Republican 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days Defeated
47 42 Carl Curtis (H, S) Republican 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
48 43 Peter W. Rodino (H) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
49 44 Pete Stark (H) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Defeated
50 45 Tom Harkin (H, S) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
51 46 George Miller (H) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
52 47 Henry Waxman (H) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
53 48 Barbara Mikulski (H, S) Democratic 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days Retired
54 999 Jennings Randolph (H, S, I) Democratic 39 years, 364 days n/a Defeated and Retired
55 999 Eugene Hale (H, S, I) Republican 39 years, 363 days n/a Defeated and Retired
56 49 Leslie C. Arends (H) Republican 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days Retired
57 50 Daniel A. Reed (H) Republican 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days Died
58 51 George William Norris (H, S) Republican,
Independent
39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Defeated
59 52 John Taber (H) Republican 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
60 53 William M. Colmer (H) Democratic 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days Retired
61 54 Richard Shelby (H, S) Democratic,
Republican
39 years, 185 days 39 years, 185 days
62 55 Jim Sensenbrenner (H) Republican 39 years, 185 days 39 years, 185 days
63 56 Max Baucus (H, S) Democratic 39 years, 34 days 39 years, 34 days Appointed Ambassador to China
64 999 Samuel Smith (H, S, I) Democratic-Republican,
Democratic
39 years, 9 days n/a Retired
65 999 John Little McClellan (H, S, I) Democratic 38 years, 329 days n/a Retired and Died
66 57 Morris Sheppard (H, S) Democratic 38 years, 145 days 38 years, 145 days Died
67 58 Ernest Hollings (S) Democratic 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days Retired
68 59 Richard Russell Jr. (S) Democratic 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days Died
69 999 John Sherman (H, S, I) Oppositionist,
Republican
38 years, 4 days n/a Appointed Secretary of the Treasury &
Appointed Secretary of State
79 60 Russell B. Long (S) Democratic 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days Retired
71 61 Frederick H. Gillett (H, S) Republican 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
72 62 Wilbur Mills (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
73 63 Dante Fascell (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
74 64 Robert H. Michel (H) Republican 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Retired
75 65 Nick Rahall (H) Democratic 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days Defeated
76 999 Robert Crosser (H, I) Democratic 37 years, 305 days n/a Lost renomination
77 999 Robert L. F. Sikes (H, I) Democratic 37 years, 290 days n/a Resigned and Retired
78 66 Nathaniel Macon (H, S) Anti-Administration,
Democratic-Republican
37 years, 255 days 37 years, 255 days Resigned
79 67 Henry Cabot Lodge (H, S) Republican 37 years, 250 days 37 years, 250 days Died
80 68 Ron Wyden (H, S) Democratic 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
81 69 Pat Roberts (H, S) Republican 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
82 70 Chuck Schumer (H, S) Democratic 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
83 71 Hal Rogers (H) Republican 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
84 72 Chris Smith (H) Republican 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
85 999 Alben W. Barkley (H, S, I) Democratic 37 years, 74 days n/a Elected Vice President & Died
86 73 Henry B. Gonzalez (H) Democratic 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days Retired
87 74 Steny Hoyer (H) Democratic 37 years, 49 days 37 years, 49 days
88 999 Francis E. Warren (S, I) Republican 37 years, 6 days n/a Defeated and Died
89 999 James Eastland (S, I) Democratic 36 years, 83 days n/a Resigned
90 75 Joe Biden (S) Democratic 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days Elected Vice President
91 76 John Murtha (H) Democratic 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days Died
92 77 Henry L. Dawes (H, S) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
93 78 Felix Edward Hébert (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
94 79 Edward Boland (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
95 80 William Broomfield (H) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
96 81 Dan Rostenkowski (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
97 82 Neal Edward Smith (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
98 83 Claiborne Pell (S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
99 84 Joseph M. McDade (H) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
100 85 Paul Sarbanes (H, S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
101 86 Pete Domenici (S) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
102 87 Ralph Regula (H) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
103 88 Chris Dodd (H, S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
104 89 Jim Oberstar (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Defeated
105 90 Richard Lugar (S) Republican 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Lost renomination
106 91 Daniel Akaka (H, S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
107 92 Norm Dicks (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
108 93 Dale Kildee (H) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
109 94 Carl Levin (S) Democratic 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days Retired
110 999 Shelby Moore Cullom (H, S, I) Republican 36 years, 0 days n/a Retired

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.

The 96th Congress and 97th Congress were the periods in which most people from this list were serving together (all but Hayden, Russell Jr., Warren, Eastland, and Grassley in the former and all but Hayden, Russell Jr., Warren, Eastland, and Magnuson in the latter).

Total
tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
tenure
rank
Name State
represented
Dates
of
service
Total
tenure
Uninterrupted
tenure
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 Patrick Leahy Vermont Since January 3, 1975 43 years, 185 days 43 years, 185 days
6 6 Carl Hayden Arizona March 4, 1927 – January 3, 1969 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
7 7 Orrin Hatch Utah Since January 3, 1977 41 years, 185 days 41 years, 185 days
8 8 John C. Stennis Mississippi November 7, 1947 – January 3, 1989 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days
9 9 Ted Stevens Alaska December 24, 1968 – January 3, 2009 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days
10 10 Thad Cochran Mississippi December 27, 1978 – April 1, 2018 39 years, 94 days 39 years, 94 days
11 11 Ernest Hollings South Carolina November 8, 1966 – January 3, 2005 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days
12 12 Richard Russell Jr. Georgia January 12, 1933 – January 21, 1971 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days
13 13 Russell B. Long Louisiana December 31, 1948 – January 3, 1987 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days
14 14 Chuck Grassley Iowa Since January 3, 1981 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
15 999 Francis E. Warren (I) Wyoming November 18, 1890 – March 4, 1893
March 4, 1895 – November 24, 1929
37 years, 6 days n/a
16 999 James Eastland (I) Mississippi June 30 – September 28, 1941
January 3, 1943 – December 27, 1978
36 years, 83 days n/a
17 15 Warren Magnuson Washington December 14, 1944 – January 3, 1981 36 years, 20 days 36 years, 20 days
18 16 Joe Biden Delaware January 3, 1973 – January 15, 2009 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days
19 17 Claiborne Pell Rhode Island January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1997 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
20 18 Pete Domenici New Mexico January 3, 1973 – January 3, 2009 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
21 19 Richard Lugar Indiana January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2013 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
22 20 Carl Levin Michigan January 3, 1979 – January 3, 2015 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days

House time[edit]

Total
tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
tenure
rank
Name State
represented
Dates
of
service
Total
tenure
Uninterrupted
tenure
1 1 John Dingell Michigan December 13, 1955 – January 3, 2015 59 years, 21 days 59 years, 21 days
2 2 Jamie L. Whitten Mississippi November 4, 1941 – January 3, 1995 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days
3 3 John Conyers Michigan January 3, 1965 – December 5, 2017 52 years, 336 days 52 years, 336 days
4 4 Carl Vinson Georgia November 3, 1914 – January 3, 1965 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days
5 5 Emanuel Celler New York March 4, 1923 – January 3, 1973 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days
6 6 Sam Rayburn Texas March 4, 1913 – November 16, 1961 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days
7 999 Sidney R. Yates (I) Illinois January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1963
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1999
48 years, 0 days n/a
8 7 Wright Patman Texas March 4, 1929 – March 7, 1976 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days
9 8 Charles Rangel New York January 3, 1971 – January 3, 2017 46 years, 0 days 46 years, 0 days
10 999 Joseph Gurney Cannon (I) Illinois March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1891
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1913
March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1923
46 years, 0 days n/a
11 9 Adolph J. Sabath Illinois March 4, 1907 – November 6, 1952 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days
12 10 Don Young Alaska Since March 6, 1973 45 years, 123 days 45 years, 123 days
13 11 George H. Mahon Texas January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1979 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
14 12 Charles Edward Bennett Florida January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1993 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
15 13 Charles Melvin Price Illinois January 3, 1945 – April 22, 1988 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days
16 14 Bill Young Florida January 3, 1971 – October 18, 2013 42 years, 288 days 42 years, 288 days
17 15 John William McCormack Massachusetts November 6, 1928 – January 3, 1971 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days
18 16 William R. Poage Texas January 3, 1937 – December 31, 1978 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
19 17 Jack Brooks Texas January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1995 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
20 18 Robert L. Doughton North Carolina March 4, 1911 – January 3, 1953 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
21 19 Joseph William Martin Jr. Massachusetts March 4, 1925 – January 3, 1967 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
22 20 Dave Obey Wisconsin April 1, 1969 – January 3, 2011 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days
23 21 Clarence Cannon Missouri March 4, 1923 – May 12, 1964 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days
24 22 William Natcher Kentucky August 1, 1953 – March 29, 1994 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days
25 23 Peter W. Rodino New Jersey January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1989 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
26 24 Pete Stark California January 3, 1973 – January 3, 2013 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
27 25 George Miller California January 3, 1975 – January 3, 2015 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
28 26 Henry Waxman California January 3, 1975 – January 3, 2015 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
29 27 Leslie C. Arends Illinois January 3, 1935 – December 31, 1974 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days
30 28 Daniel A. Reed New York March 4, 1919 – February 19, 1959 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days
31 29 John Taber New York March 4, 1923 – January 3, 1963 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
32 30 William M. Colmer Mississippi March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1973 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
33 31 Jim Sensenbrenner Wisconsin Since January 3, 1979 39 years, 185 days 39 years, 185 days
34 32 Wilbur Mills Arkansas January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1977 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
35 33 Dante Fascell Florida January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1993 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
36 34 Robert H. Michel Illinois January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1995 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
37 35 Nick Rahall West Virginia January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2015 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
38 999 Robert Crosser (I) Ohio March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1919
March 4, 1923 – January 3, 1955
37 years, 305 days n/a
39 999 Robert L. F. Sikes (I) Florida January 3, 1941 – October 19, 1944
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1979
37 years, 290 days n/a
40 36 Hal Rogers Kentucky Since January 3, 1981 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
41 37 Chris Smith New Jersey Since January 3, 1981 37 years, 185 days 37 years, 185 days
42 38 Henry B. Gonzalez Texas November 4, 1961 – January 3, 1999 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days
43 39 Steny Hoyer Maryland Since May 19, 1981 37 years, 49 days 37 years, 49 days
44 40 Ed Markey Massachusetts November 2, 1976 – July 3, 2013 36 years, 256 days 36 years, 256 days
45 41 John Murtha Pennsylvania February 5, 1974 – February 8, 2010 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days
46 42 Felix Edward Hébert Louisiana January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1977 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
47 43 Edward Boland Massachusetts January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1989 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
48 44 William Broomfield Michigan January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1993 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
49 45 Dan Rostenkowski Illinois January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1995 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
50 46 Neal Edward Smith Iowa January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1995 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
51 47 Joseph M. McDade Pennsylvania January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1999 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
52 48 Ralph Regula Ohio January 3, 1973 – January 3, 2009 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
53 49 Jim Oberstar Minnesota January 3, 1975 – January 3, 2011 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
54 50 Norm Dicks Washington January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2013 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
55 51 Dale Kildee Michigan January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2013 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days

References[edit]