Oldest Members of the Current U.S. House of Representatives

10 Oldest Members of the Current U.S. House of Representatives

Currently, the average age of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives is 58. However, all of the House’s leaders, except for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are some of the oldest Congressmen and are featured on this list. Every single one of the Congressmen on this list is in their 80s, with the oldest, Don Young, just a few years shy of 90! Additionally, everyone on this list has been serving for several decades due to winning consecutive reelections.

As of February 2021, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Jim Clyburn (July 21, 1940 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 80 years, 6 months, 20 days
State: South Carolina’s 6th District
Assumed Office: January 3, 1993

Jim Clyburnphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Jim Clyburn has been the third-ranking Democrat behind Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer since 2007. Clyburn has served as Majority Whip since 2019 after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives. He previously held this same position from 2007 – 2011. During Republican control of the House, Clyburn served as Assistant Minority Leader.

Before becoming a Congressman, Clyburn graduated from what is now South Carolina State University with a degree in history. After college, Clyburn taught at C.A. Brown High School in Charleston and first became involved in politics during the 1969 Charleston hospital strike. Clyburn then served as the advisor to Governor John C. West and was eventually appointed as South Carolina’s human affairs commissioner, a position he held until he was elected to Congress.

Did You Know?

Since the departure of John Spratt in 2011, Jim Clyburn has been the only Democrat in South Carolina’s house delegation.

9. Nancy Pelosi (March 26, 1940 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 80 years, 10 months, 15 days
State: California’s 12th District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: June 2, 1987

Nancy Pelosiphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Nancy Pelosi is currently the highest-ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as the the 52nd Speaker of the House. She is the only woman in American history to serve as Speaker. Pelosi also served as Speaker of the House from 2007 – 2011.

Before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986, Pelosi graduated from Trinity College with a degree in political science. Pelosi interned for Senator Daniel Brewster (D-Maryland) in the 1960s and continued to work her way up in Democratic politics. She was elected as a Democratic National Committee member in 1976, and she later served as the Chair of the California Democratic Party in the early 1980s.

Did You Know?

Under President Barack Obama’s administration, Nancy Pelosi was instrumental in passing many landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 81 years, 7 months, 27 days
State: Maryland’s 5th District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: May 19, 1981

Steny Hoyerphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Steny Hoyer is a the long-serving member of the U.S .House of Representatives, who was first elected in 1981. Hoyer is also the current House Majority Leader, a position he has held since 2019. He was previously House Majority Leader from 2007 to 2011. Additionally, Hoyer is the  Dean of the Maryland Congressional delegation and the most senior Democrat in the House.

Hoyer has spent pretty much his entire adult life in politics. In the early 1960s, Hoyer was a member of the staff of United States Senator Daniel Brewster. He was then elected to the Maryland State Senate. In 1975 he became the President of the Maryland State Senate, the youngest person ever to hold that position in state history.

Did You Know?

Steny Hoyer was the lead sponsor of the the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and has helped millions of disabled Americans enter the workforce, achieve independence, and go as far as their talents take them.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 82 years, 5 months, 26 days
State: California’s 43rd District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: January 3, 1991

Maxine Watersphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Maxine Waters has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years and currently represents California’s 43rd district. Congresswoman Waters has become known for her outspoken advocacy for women, children, people of color, and the poor. She is the second most senior member of the California congressional delegation after Nancy Pelosi and holds a powerful position as Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Before being elected to Congress in 1990, Waters was a member of the California State Assembly, a position she held from 1976 until her congressional election. After working in a garment factory, as a telephone operator, and an assistant teacher, Waters earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from what is now California State University, Los Angeles.

Did You Know?

Maxine Waters was on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018 list.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 83 years, 1 month, 10 days
State: Kentucky’s 5th District
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: January 3, 1981

Hal Rogersphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Hal Rogers has represented Kentucky’s 5th district since 1981, which amounts to 20 consecutive terms. Rogers is currently the Dean of the Kentucky congressional delegation. As a young man, Rogers received a law degree from the University of Kentucky of Lexington and went into private practice. He also served in the Kentucky and North Carolina Army National Guard.

As a lawyer, Rogers was elected serve as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Pulaski and Rockcastle counties in Kentucky, an office he held from 1969 until his election to Congress in 1980. From 2011 to 2016, Rogers served as the Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Did You Know?

Hal Rogers has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee for more than 30 years, and has served on eight different subcommittees, including leadership roles as Chairman or Ranking Member of three.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 84 years, 16 days
State: New Jersey’s 9th District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: January 3, 1997

Bill Pascrellphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Bill Pascrell is another long-serving Congressman, who has been around since the 1990s. Hailing from Paterson, New Jersey, Pascrell is currently the representative of New Jersey’s 9th district. Before the redistricting after the 2010 Census, Pascrell represented the state’s 8th district.

Prior to joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Pascrell was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, as well as mayor of Paterson. Before his political career, Pascrell was a high school teacher and eventually became a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Pascrell was appointed to the Paterson Board of Education, and served as president of the board.

Did You Know?

Since 2007, Bill Pascrell has served on the powerful, tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, overseeing numerous economic issues including Social Security, taxes, Medicare, health policy, and international trade.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 84 years, 2 months, 6 days
State: California’s 32nd District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: January 3, 1999

Grace Napolitanophoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Grace Napolitano has represented California’s 32nd district since 2013, but has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1999 – she previously represented California’s 38th and 34th districts. Before becoming a Congresswoman, Napolitano served in the California State Assembly and Norwalk City Council.

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, which oversees EPA’s Clean Water Act and US Army Corps of Engineers water programs. She is also a part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Medicare for All Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Arts Caucus, and several others.

Did You Know?

As the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, Grace Napolitano was active in securing mental health parity in the Affordable Care Act.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 84 years, 5 months, 5 days
State: Florida’s 20th District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: January 3, 1993

Alcee Hastingsphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Alcee Hastings is one of several members of the U.S. House of Representatives who is 84 years old. Hastings is in his 14th term as a Representative of Florida – currently the 20th district, previously the 23rd. Following Senator Bill Nelson’s departure from office in January 2019, Hastings became the Dean (or longest-serving member) of Florida’s congressional delegation.

After attending Howard School of Law and obtaining his Juris Doctor from Florida A&M University College of Law, Hastings was admitted to the bar in 1963, and soon began practicing law. After a failed early attempt to run for the U.S. Senate in 1970, Hastings went on to serve as the Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. However, Hastings was impeached and convicted for bribery and perjury in 1988/89. After a few years, Hastings returned to politics in 1992 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Did You Know?

Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Alcee Hastings became the first African-American Federal Judge in the State of Florida.

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

Current Age (as of February 2021): 85 years, 2 months, 7 days
State: Texas’s 30th District
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: January 3, 1993

Eddie Bernice Johnsonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Bernice Johnson is currently the oldest woman in the U.S. House of Representatives and is serving her 14th term as the representative of Texas’s 30th district. However, Johnson has stated that this will be her last term in Congress. In 2019, Johnson became the Dean of the Texas congressional delegation.

Prior to joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Johnson served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Despite being the underdog in that election, Johnson went on to become the first Black woman ever elected to public office from Dallas. She soon became the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee, the Labor Committee. Johnson then served three terms in the Texas Senate before being elected to Congress. Before politics, Johnson worked as the first female African American Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas for 16 years.

Did You Know?

In December 2010, Eddie Bernice Johnson was elected as the first African American and the first female Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

1. Don Young (June 9, 1933 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 87 years, 8 months, 1 day
State: Alaska-at-large
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: March 6, 1973

Don Youngphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

At nearly 88 years of age, Don Young is currently the oldest member of the United States House of Representatives. Congressman Young is serving his 25th term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. He has been a longtime resident of the 49th state, settling in Alaska in 1959, not long after it gained statehood.

Before the House of Representatives, Young served as the mayor of Fort Yukon, a member of Alaska’s House of Representatives, and a member of the Alaska Senate. Before politics, Young was teacher and also served in the Army from 1955 to 1957.

Did You Know?

Don Young is currently the longest-serving member of either chamber of Congress and is also the last remaining member who has been in office since the Nixon Administration.

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