Don Young Wiki – Biography
Don Young is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Alaska’s at-large congressional district since 1973. He is the Republican Party’s longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives in history, having represented Alaska for 24 terms.
Young is the longest currently serving member of Congress, as well as the last remaining member who has been in office since the Nixon Administration; he became the 45th Dean of the House of Representatives on December 5, 2017, after the resignation of John Conyers from Michigan. He also is the oldest current member of either chamber of Congress. Before the special election following U.S. Representative Nick Begich’s death in a plane crash, he was mayor of Fort Yukon from 1964 to 1967 and a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971 and the Alaska Senate from 1971 to 1973.
Young was born in Meridian, Sutter County, California. He earned an associate’s degree in education from Yuba College in 1952 and a bachelor’s degree from Chico State College in 1958. He served in the Army from 1955 to 1957.
Young moved to Alaska in 1959, not long after it became a state. He eventually settled in Fort Yukon, then a 700-person city on the Yukon River, seven miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. He made a living in construction, fishing, trapping and gold mining. He captained a tugboat and ran a barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. He still holds his mariner’s license. During the winters, he taught fifth grade at the local Bureau of Indian Affairs elementary school.
Don Young Age
Don Young is 87-years-old.
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Wife & Children
Young was married to the former Lula Fredson, an indigenous Gwich’in. She volunteered her time serving as the manager of her husband’s Washington, D.C. congressional office. They had two daughters and were members of the Episcopal Church. Lula died on August 1, 2009, at the age of 67.
On August 17, 2014, Young announced his engagement to Anne Garland Walton, a flight nurse from Fairbanks. On June 9, 2015, Young and Walton married. She was 76 years old at the time.
Test Positive For COVID-19
Alaska Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving member of the U.S. House and who initially downplayed the severity of COVID-19, said in an interview Monday that he is recovering from a brutal case of the disease.
“I’ve been shot, I’ve been rolled over, I’ve been hit in the head a hundred times, but I’ve never felt as bad as I did” with the virus, Young said. “This is not good.”
Young, 87 and a Republican, is also the oldest House member. He was hospitalized at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage for three days before being discharged Sunday night.
“I’m making progress. I can’t complain,” he said. “I’ll be ready to go in a few days, back and hit the old pavement.”
Young, first elected in 1973, said “many” members of his campaign staff also have been infected with the coronavirus, though he did not provide an exact number and his office would not comment, citing privacy concerns. He added that his wife has tested positive but is not symptomatic.
Young said he does not know how or when he contracted the virus. But he continued to hold in-person fundraising events during the campaign season and did not require attendees to wear masks or to socially distance.
He said that he personally supports wearing masks and following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but that he does not support mask mandates or believe in “hunkering down.”
Young had dismissed the coronavirus in March, calling it the “beer virus,” a reference to Corona beer, as he told a gathering of senior citizens in Alaska that the dangers were overhyped. He later apologized and acknowledged that he had not grasped the severity of COVID-19.
Now that he has experienced the coronavirus firsthand, he has a new nickname for it. “I call it the whiskey virus,” he said. “You drink too much and it’ll kill you.”