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Rep. Don Young, longest-serving GOP congressman in U.S. history, dead at 88

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) died Friday at the age of 88, CNN reports.

Young was serving his 25th term as Alaska's sole member of the House of Representatives. He was first elected in 1973.

As the longest-serving congressman, Young had held the title "dean of the House" — a largely ceremonial position whose sole duty is swearing in the Speaker of the House — since former Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) resigned in 2017. The title now passes to Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who first took office in 1981.

Young was the longest-serving Republican federal lawmaker in U.S. history, with a tenure of 49 years and 13 days. He was the ninth-longest-serving member of Congress overall. The top eight spots are all held by Democrats.

"This is the congressman whom Alaska will remember forever. Alaska is a better place because of Don Young," Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) said.

According to Fox News, Young died at Los Angeles International Airport. A statement released by his office said that he was "traveling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved" and that "his beloved wife, Anne, was by his side."