Oldest Members of the United States Congress

10 Oldest Members of the Current United States Congress (Updated 2022)

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 April 2022, this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Steny Hoyer (June 14, 1939 – Present) 

Current Age (as of April 2022): 8
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party: Democrat 
State: Maryland 
Years in Office: May 19, 1981 – Present 

photo source: Wikimedia Commons 

Steny Hoyer has been the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 5th congressional district since 1981. Hoyer has served as the House Majority Leader since 2019. Additionally, Hoyer is the Dean of the Maryland congressional delegation, as well as the most senior Democrat in the House. 

Since 2003, Hoyer has been the second-ranking Democrat in the House behind Nancy Pelosi and he has held several leadership positions. This is his second time as House Majority Leader. 

Like many politicians, Hoyer studied law. After he graduated, Hoyer worked as a staff member for United States Senator Daniel Brewster — Nancy Pelosi was also part of Brewster’s staff. 

In 1996, Hoyer was elected to the Maryland State Senate and served in that seat until 1978. He was then appointed to the Maryland Board of Higher Education and stayed in that position until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Did You Know?

Steny Hoyer served as the first vice president of the Young Democrats of America from 1969 – 1971. 


9. Maxine Waters (August 15, 1938 – Present) 

Current Age (as of April 2022): 83 years, 8 months, 13 days 
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party: Democrat 
State: California 
Years in Office: January 3, 1991 – Present 

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Maxine Waters is currently one of the most prominent Democratic politicians in either chamber of Congress. Waters is the most senior of the 12 black women in Congress and she is the Chair of House Financial Services Committee. 

The fifth of 13 children and raised by a single mother, Waters took an unconventional route to becoming a politician. She had a few odd jobs before she was hired as an assistant teacher in 1966. A few years later, Waters attended Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles) and graduated with a sociology degree in 1971. 

Afterwards, Waters worked as chief deputy to City Councilman David S. Cunningham, Jr. in 1973. Then, in 1976 Waters was elected to the California State Assembly. Waters held that position until 1990 when she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Over the years, Waters has been an outspoken politician who isn’t afraid to criticize the President — including George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. 

Did You Know?

Maxine Waters was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018.


8. Hal Rogers (December 31, 1937 – Present) 

Current Age (as of April 2022): 84 years, 3 months, 28 days 
Current House:  House of Representatives
Political Party: Republican 
State: Kentucky 
Years in Office: January 3, 1981 – Present  

photo source: Wikimedia Commons 

Hal Rogers is another long-serving congressman who is currently in his 80s. Rogers has represented Kentucky’s 5th congressional district since 1981. 

Before entering politics, Rogers worked as a lawyer and in 1969 he became the Commonwealth Attorney of Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties. He held that position until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1981. 

Rogers is now the longest-serving Kentucky Republican to ever hold higher office. From 2011 to 2016, Rogers was the Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 

Following Congressman Don Young’s death in 2022, Rogers became the Dean of the House of Representatives. 

Did You Know?

As a young man, Hal Rogers served in the Kentucky Army National Guard and North Carolina Army National Guard. 


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 85 years, 3 months, 3 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.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 85 years, 4 months, 24 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.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 86 years, 4 months, 25 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. She is currently Chair of the House Science Committee. 

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.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 87 years, 5 months, 11 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 a Ranking Member 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.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 87 years, 11 months, 22 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 35 years.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 88 years, 7 months, 11 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.


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

Current Age (as of April 2022): 88 years, 10 months, 6 days 
Current House:  Senate
Political Party:  Democratic
State:  California
Years in Office:  November 4, 1992 – Present

Dianne Feinsteinphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

After the death of Congressman Don Young in early 2022, Dianne Feinstein became the oldest member of the current U.S. Congress. She will be turning 89 years old in just a few months! 

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.

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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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