C.W. ‘Bill’ Young, 82; Republican served in House for 43 years

Bill Young was a strong supporter of the military.

Mary F. Calvert/Reuters/file 2012

Bill Young was a strong supporter of the military.

WASHINGTON — C.W. ‘‘Bill’’ Young, a Florida congressman who grew up in a one-room shack and became chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and the longest-serving current Republican member of the House, died Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was 82.

His family released a statement saying the congressman had complications of a chronic back injury that had worsened over the years. Representative Young was in a serious small-plane accident in 1970, the year he was elected to Congress.


A genteel politician known for his pompadour and easygoing bonhomie, Representative Young was in his 22d term in the House of Representatives.

‘‘He would be your classic gentleman member of Congress,’’ Susan McManus, a political scientist, said. ‘‘His strong suit was his leadership in the House.’’

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Representative Young revealed earlier this month that he would not seek reelection. His district includes sections of St. Petersburg and Clearwater on Florida’s Gulf Coast. He was considered a wise veteran of many legislative battles.

‘‘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,’’ Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, said in a statement. ‘‘Here was a man who had seen it all and accomplished much.’’

As a longtime member of the Appropriations Committee and its chairman from 1998 through 2004, Representative Young was adept at steering funds to his district and state. He was credited with helping to save MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa from being closed in a base-reduction effort.


Charles William Young was born in Harmarville, Pa.

He had served in Congress so long that 46 House colleagues had not been born when he was first elected in 1970. During the recent standoff over the federal government shutdown, he criticized an ‘‘outspoken minority’’ of his own party.

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