Oldest Members of the United States Congress

10 Oldest Members of the Current United States Congress (Updated 2020)

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Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both houses of Congress have an age requirement: it is at least 25 years of age for the House and at least 30 years old for the Senate. While these age requirements are generally low, most members of Congress are nearly senior citizens.

This list contains current members of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We have previously covered the Oldest Senators Ever as well as the Oldest U.S. Congressmen (House of Representatives) ever. Some of the people on this list are also on those lists as well.

As of May 2020, this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Bill Pascrell (January 25, 1937 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 83 years, 3 months, 25 days
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  New Jersey
Years in Office:  January 3, 1997 – Present

Bill Pascrellphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Bill Pascrell has represented New Jersey’s 8th congressional district from January 1997 until the redistricting of January 2013; he is now the representative of the 9th district. Pascrell was born and raised in New Jersey and his district even includes his hometown of Paterson.

Before first entering politics in 1988, Pascrell was a teacher for 12 years. In 1988, Pascrell became a member of the New Jersey General Assembly and served in this position until 1997. He was also mayor of Paterson from 1990 – 1997.

Did You Know?

Bill Pascrell has become passionate about researching traumatic brain injuries that happen from sports. In October 2008, Pascrell introduced the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act (the ConTACT Act), which has received the endorsements of the National Football League, the National Football League Players Association, and the Brain Injury Association of America.


9. Grace Napolitano (December 4, 1936 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 83 years, 5 months, 15 days
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  California
Years in Office:  January 3, 1999 – Present

Grace Napolitanophoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Grace Napolitano, who is not related to former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for California for over 20 years. Napolitano had worked for the Ford Motor Company for 21 years before retiring and starting a career in politics in 1992. That year, Napolitano was elected the California Assembly, and became a leader on international trade, environmental protection, transportation, and immigration.

In her personal life, Napolitano was married to Frank Napolitano, a retired restaurateur and community activist, from the early 1980s until he passed away in late 2017. Napolitano has five children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

Did You Know?

Grace Napolitano is the highest-ranking California member and Hispanic member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure where she currently serves as Chairwoman on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.


8. Alcee Hastings (September 5, 1936 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 83 years, 8 months, 14 days
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  Florida
Years in Office:  January 3, 1993 – Present

Alcee Hastingsphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Alcee Hastings has been a U.S. Representative for Florida since 1993. After Senator Bill Nelson left Congress in 2019, Hastings became the dean (or longest-serving member) of Florida’s congressional delegation. Prior to serving the in the House of Representatives, Hastings a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida until his impeachment and removal. Hastings was charged with bribery and perjury while serving as a judge.

Unfortunately, controversy has continued to follow Hastings in his political career. Hastings has had several sexual harassment allegations brought against him in the past several years and was ranked No. 1 in 2012 for paying salaries and fees to family members, according to onservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Did You Know?

Despite being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2019, Alcee Hastings continues to work and serve in the House of Representatives.


7. Pat Roberts (April 20, 1936 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 84 years, 29 days
Current House:  Senate (formerly in the House of Representatives)
Political Party:  Republican
State:  Kansas
Years in Office:  January 3, 1997 – Present; January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1997 (House of Representatives Kansas’s 1st District)

Pat Robertsphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Pat Roberts has been a member of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate since 1981. Roberts spent 16 years in the House and is going on has currently been a Senator for 21 years. Currently, Roberts is the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a position he also held as a member of the House.

Roberts is also a former Marine and served from 1958 – 1962. After this, Roberts started his political career as an administrative assistant to United States Senator Frank Carlson from 1967 – 1968. Following this brief role, Roberts became the administrative assistant for United States Congressman Keith Sebelius from 1968-1980.

Did You Know?

Pat Roberts is the first person in Congressional history to chair the Agriculture Committee in both the House and the Senate.


6. Eddie Bernice Johnson (December 3, 1935 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 84 years, 5 months, 16 days
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  Texas
Years in Office:  January 3, 1993 – Present

Eddie Bernice Johnsonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Bernice Johnson began her Congressional career in 1993 and has achieved many firsts as an African American woman. Johnson’s tenure in politics began in 1972 when she was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. During that time, Johnson became the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee (the Labor Committee). In 1986, Johnson became a Texas State Senator – she was both the first woman and first African American from Dallas to hold the office.

Johnson has served on various committees and subcommittees, including the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Subcommittee on Railroad, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. In 2010, Johnson was elected as the first African-American and the first female Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Did You Know?

Eddie Bernice Johnson worked for16 years as Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital, being the first African American woman to hold the position.


5. Jim Inhofe (November 17, 1934 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 85 years, 6 months, 2 days
Current House:  Senate (formerly in the House of Representatives)
Political Party:  Republican
State:  Oklahoma
Years in Office:  November 16, 1994 – Present; January 3, 1987 – November 15, 1994 (House of Representatives Oklahoma’s 1st District)

Jim Inhofephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Jim Inhofe has had a long career and politics and started out in the Oklahoma State house of representatives in 1967. Inhofe then went on to the Oklahoma State senate before becoming Mayor of Tulsa from 1978 – 1984. In 1986 Inhofe was elected to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives for Oklahoma’s 1st District. After a serving a few terms on the House, Inhofe became a Senator in 1994 and has served since.

Before starting his political career, Inhofe was briefly in the Army. Today, Inhofe serves as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Inhofe is also a member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, the Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

Did You Know?

Jim Inhofe is known for his strong conservative views, including rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change, banning same-sex marriage, and proposing the Inhofe Amendment, which would make English the national language of the U.S.


4. Richard Shelby (May 6, 1934 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 86 years, 13 days
Current House:  Senate (formerly in the House of Representatives)
Political Party:  Republican
State:  Alabama
Years in Office:  January 3, 1987 – Present; January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1987 (House of Representatives Alabama’s 7th District)

Richard Shelbyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Richard Shelby was first elected to the Alabama Senate in 1986 and assumed office at the beginning of the following year. Before joining the Senate, Shelby was on the House of Representatives for four terms and was in the Alabama Legislature for eight years.

Like many politicians, Shelby was a lawyer from 1968 – 1978, which was when he was first elected to the House. As a Senator, Shelby has served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations; as a senior member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee as well as the Committee on Rules and Administration; and on the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Did You Know?

Richard Shelby is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Alabama, having served the state for over 33 years.


3. Chuck Grassley (September 17, 1933 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 86 years, 8 months, 2 days
Current House:  Senate (previously in the House of Representatives)
Political Party:  Republican
State:  Iowa
Years in Office:  January 3, 1981 – Present; January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981 (House of Representatives Iowa 3rd District)

Chuck Grassleyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Grassley is one of the longest-serving members of Congress and has had an even longer political career. Grassley was a farmer and sheet metal shearer before he joined the Iowa Legislature in 1958. In 1974, Grassley was elected to the House of Representatives and served on the House until 1981. Since then, Grassley has been a Senator in Iowa.

Grassley has served on a number of committees over years, including the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Committee on Finance; Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary; Committee on the Budget; Joint Committee on Taxation; Chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control; and Co-Chair of the Caucus on Foster Youth.

Did You Know?

Chuck Grassley is currently the president pro tempore of the Senate, making him the third in the presidential line of succession after the vice president and Speaker of the House.


2. Dianne Feinstein (June 22, 1933 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 86 years, 10 months 27 days
Current House:  Senate
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  California
Years in Office:  November 4, 1992 – Present

Dianne Feinsteinphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Dianne Feinstein, who has been a Senator since 1992, is known for setting many firsts in Congress and in politics overall. Before joining the Senate, Feinstein was the first female mayor of San Francisco and the first woman president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

When she was elected to the Senate, Feinstein became the first female senator in California. Feinstein then went on to become the first female member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first woman to chair the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, the first woman to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the first woman to serve as ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Did You Know?

During the 2012 election, Dianne Feinstein received 7.75 million votes, the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history.


1. Don Young (June 9, 1933 – Present)

Current Age (as of May 2020): 86 years, 11 months, 10 days
Current House:  House of Representatives (formerly in the Senate)
Political Party:  Republican
State:  Alaska
Years in Office:  March 6, 1973 – Present; January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971 (16th District); January 11, 1971 – March 6, 1973 (Alaska Senate)

Don Youngphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Alaska Representative Don Young has served in Congress since 1967 and is the longest serving member of the current Congress. At nearly 87 years old, Don Young is also the oldest member of the current U.S. Congress. Young briefly served in the Alaska Senate, but has primarily been a member of the House for most of his 47 year career. As a House Representative, Young has served on House Natural Resources Committee, the Resources Committee, and was Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Young is currently the 45th Dean of the House of Representatives.

Before becoming a politician, Young made his living as a commercial fisher and a teacher. Young also searched for gold.

Did You Know?

According to Don Young’s biography, he is the only licensed mariner in Congress.


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There are 1 comments

  1. If we don’t have term limits we should have age limits, 70 and out,
    we need new fresh blood.
    The founding fathers never meant for anyone to be a career politician.

    Reply

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