On Sunday, March 20, the White House released a statement from President Joe Biden in regards to the death of Congressman Don Young, who died on Friday, March 18:
“I knew Don Young for a long time. He always stayed true to who he was and the people of Alaska he represented. Tough. Loyal. A consensus builder.
“He was larger than life, but always focused on Alaskans’ everyday lives. As Dean of the House, he was the longest-serving House Republican in history—but cherished photos of his legislation being signed into law by ten presidents, Republicans and Democrats.
“There is no doubt that few legislators have left a greater mark on their state. Don’s legacy lives on in the infrastructure projects he delighted in steering across Alaska. In the opportunities he advanced for his constituents. In the enhanced protections for Native tribes he championed. His legacy will continue in the America he loved.
“Jill and I send our prayers to his wife Anne, to his daughters and the entire Young family, and to the people of Alaska.”
Biden ordered the flag over the White House lowers in Young’s honor. The two men served in Washington, D.C. concurrently for decades, although Young remained in the House. Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, just weeks after the plane carrying Alaska Congressman Nick Begich went down en route from Anchorage to Juneau. Congressman Young was elected during a special election in early 1973, and sworn in on March 14, 1973. Later in life, Biden was vice president to President Barack Obama and then became president in 2020. Biden is 79 years old; Don Young would have turned 89 in June.