Carl Vinson (November 18, 1883 – June 1, 1981) was a United States Representative from Georgia. He was a Democrat, and the first person to serve for more than 50 years in the United States House of Representatives.
Vinson was born in Baldwin County, Georgia, attended Georgia Military College, and graduated with a law degree from Mercer University in 1902. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1908. After losing a third term following redistricting, he was appointed judge of the Baldwin County court, but following the sudden death of Senator Augustus Bacon, Representative Thomas W. Hardwick of Georgia's 10th Congressional District was nominated to fill Bacon's Senate seat and Vinson announced his candidacy for Hardwick's seat in Congress. Vinson won over three opponents. He was the youngest member of Congress when he was sworn in on November 3, 1914.
Vinson served as a Representative from November 3, 1914, to January 3, 1965. During his tenure in the U.S. House, Vinson was a champion for national defense and especially the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. He joined the House Naval Affairs Committee shortly after World War I and became the ranking Democratic member in the early 1920s. He was the only Democrat appointed to the Morrow Board, which reviewed the status of aviation in America in the mid-1920s. In 1931, Vinson became chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee. In 1934, he helped push the Vinson-Trammell Act, along with Senator Park Trammell of Florida. The bill authorized new warships as they were required by the age limits of the naval limitation treaties (Washington, 1922 and London, 1930) and appropriations to build the USN to its Treaty limits. This was necessary as during the previous Administration, not a single major warship was laid down and the US Navy was both aging and losing ground to the Japanese Navy, which would repudiate the Treaties in late 1934. He later was primarily responsible for additional naval expansion legislation, the Second Vinson Act of 1938 and the Third Vinson Act of 1940, as well as the Two-Ocean Navy Act of 1940. The ambitious program called for by this series of laws helped the U.S. Navy as the country entered World War II, as new ships were able to immediately match the latest ships from Japan.