WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. John David Dingell Jr., D-Mich., Friday became the longest-serving member of Congress in history, having served 20,997 days in office.
Dingell, 86, took office Dec. 13, 1955, after being elected to succeed his father.
Plans called for Dingell to have lunch with former staffers and dinner with a few family friends, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The previous record for longevity in Congress was held by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., who died in 2010 at age 92.
"John has always worked tirelessly for people," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "He has helped pass some of the most important laws of the last half-century, from Medicare to the Civil Rights Act to the Clean Air Act to the Affordable Care Act.
"Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to John and his family, and I look forward to congratulating him in person at the White House next week," Obama said.