ENG: Charles William "Bill" Young (born December 16, 1930) is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 13th congressional district, serving in Congress since 1971. He is a member of the Republican Party, and is currently the longest-serving Republican member of Congress. He was Chairman of Appropriations from 1999 to 2005 and still retains a seat on that committee.
Early life, education, and early career
Young was born in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, in 1930. He grew up in a Pennsylvania coal town in a shotgun shack. His father abandoned the family and a flood washed away their home at age 6.
An uncle had a hunting camp in Florida, so the family moved there when he was 16. Young dropped out of St. Petersburg High School to support his ill mother and was wounded in a hunting accident. When he was 18, he joined the Army National Guard and served from 1948 to 1957. After finishing his service at age 25, he applied for a job as an insurance salesman and ultimately ran an insurance agency.
In 1960 Young was elected to the Florida Senate, where he served from 1961 to 1970, and was minority leader in that chamber from 1966 to 1970.
From 1962 through 1964, Young served on the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, commonly known as the Johns Committee, a legislative panel that investigated the activities of homosexuals, communists and others thought to be subversive.
In 1964, the committee released a pamphlet entitled Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida, which drew criticism at the time for its use of explicit photographs of homosexual acts. At the time, Young said of homosexuality: "Our report tried to show it in its true light – it's a very repulsive subject." Responding to reports that reprints of the pamphlet were being sold as pornography for a gay audience, Young said: "This indicates how bold the homosexual is becoming and further proves the necessity of state government taking the lead in responsibility for preventing these confirmed homosexuals from preying on the youth of the state." In 1993, Young was asked about his involvement with the report by the St. Petersburg Times and said: "I am not supportive of homosexuality, but that's the decision of the people who are involved in it. If someone wants to engage in that sort of behavior, that's their choice." Young also stated that the committee was largely inactive during his tenure due to the illness of its chair, Charley Eugene Johns, and that he was not involved enough in the committee to be either proud or regretful of its work.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections
Young was elected to Congress in 1970 from what was then the 8th District and has been reelected 20 times.
The district, which has changed numbers three times during Young's tenure (it was the 8th District from 1971 to 1973, the 6th District from 1971 to 1983, the 8th District again from 1983 to 1993 and has been the 10th since 1993) was once considered a Republican stronghold. Young has mostly coasted to reelection, only once receiving less than 60% of the vote (1992).
In 2005, Young received 3,570 earmark requests from members of Congress, because of his position on the appropriations committee. He believes that requests for earmarks should not be publicly disclosed. In March 2006, Young spokesman Harry Glenn said "This has been the policy of the committee for years. It's internal correspondence from one member to another." From 2007 – 2008, $167,000,000 in earmarked funds came to the Tampa Bay Area.
On September 29, 2008, Young voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Young served as a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission from 1965 to 1967.
He was also a Florida delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1984.
In 1985, Young divorced his first wife, with whom he had three children, and married his current wife, Beverly. They have had two children together, Billy, and Patrick, and the couple raised Beverly's son, Robbie, from her first marriage.
January 24, 2013