FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee, who served in Congress for 36 years, has died.
He was 92.
Kildee’s death was announced Wednesday by his nephew, Rep. Dan Kildee, who succeeded him after his 2012 retirement.
“Dale was a hard worker and a fervent advocate for the auto industry and workers, for education initiatives, and for the people of Flint and surrounding areas.” –Rep. Debbie Dingell, (D-Dearborn)
Dale Kildee, a Democrat, was first elected to the House in 1976 and represented Flint and surrounding areas. He was a high school teacher before winning election to the state House and later the state Senate.
“Dale will be remembered for many accomplishments in Congress, but especially his work to support early childhood education through Head Start, reform the No Child Left Behind initiative and promote child and senior nutrition programs,” Dan Kildee said in a statement. “Dale fought fervently for programs to address hunger in our country, establishing the first-of-its-kind summer nutrition program in churches so kids wouldn’t go hungry.”
Dale Kildee was “a tireless public servant,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.
“He served his community in the state legislature for over a decade and in the U.S. House of Representatives for 36 years, where he advocated fiercely for the automotive industry and workers, led successful efforts to reform education and expanded access to financial aid for college,” she said.
She noted that he started the Native American Caucus in Congress and rarely missed a vote during his tenure.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) said Dale Kildee was an advocate for Michigan workers.
“Dale was a hard worker and a fervent advocate for the auto industry and workers, for education initiatives, and for the people of Flint and surrounding areas,” she said.
Dale Kildee is survived by his wife, Gayle, three children and grandchildren.