Rep. Bill Young of Florida dies at 82 — was one of longest-serving members of House

Courtesy Of Young Family / AP file

Family members surround Rep. Bill Young on Wednesday at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. Young died Friday at age 82.

By Frank Thorp, NBC News producer

Rep. Bill Young, a Florida Republican who was one of the longest serving members of the House, died Friday evening at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his family said. Young was 82.

The family said the death was caused by complications related to a chronic injury. The Associated Press reported that Young had been in the hospital for nearly two weeks with back problems stemming from a plane crash in 1970.

Young had already announced that he would not seek another term. He represented Florida’s 13th Congressional District, which includes Sarasota and Bradenton. He was known as a supporter of the military and defense.

Young was the only Republican not to vote on the debt limit government funding bill that Congress passed late on Wednesday night.

Young was tied for third most senior member of the House with Rep Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., both having assumed office in 1971. Only Reps. John Dingell and John Conyers, both Michigan Democrats, have served longer.

In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio called Young a “dear friend and colleague” and said:

“In our sorrow, we recall how not a day went by without a colleague seeking Bill’s counsel as he sat on his perch in the corner of the House floor.  There was a good reason for this.  Here was a man who had seen it all and accomplished much. Looking out for our men and women in uniform was his life’s work, and no one was better at it.  No one was kinder too.”

Related story: Former House Speaker Tom Foley dead at 84

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