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Bill Young (Florida politician)

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Bill Young
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida
In office
January 3, 1971 – October 18, 2013
Preceded byWilliam Cramer
Succeeded byDavid Jolly
Constituency13th district (2013)
10th district (1993–2013)
8th district (1983–1993)
6th district (1973–1983)
8th district (1971–1973)
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
SpeakerDennis Hastert
Preceded byBob Livingston
Succeeded byJerry Lewis
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 19th district
In office
Preceded byBeth Johnson
Succeeded byJohn T. Ware
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 11th district
In office
Preceded byJ. Frank Houghton
Succeeded byWilliam T. Stockton Jr.
Personal details
Charles William Young

(1930-12-16)December 16, 1930
Harmarville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedOctober 18, 2013(2013-10-18) (aged 82)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Marian Ford
(m. 1949; div. 1985)
Beverly Angello
(m. 1985)
Military service
Branch/serviceArmy National Guard
Years of service1948–1957
Rank Master Sergeant

Charles William Young (December 16, 1930 – October 18, 2013) was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 until his death in 2013. A Republican from Florida, Young served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations from 1999 to 2005. He was the longest-serving Republican member of Congress at the time of his death.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Young was born in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, in 1930.[1] He had Irish, German, and Swiss ancestry.[2] He grew up in a Pennsylvania coal town in a shotgun shack.[1] 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, Wilma M. (Hulings) Young,[1][3] and was wounded in a hunting accident.[4] He married Marian Ford on August 20, 1949, when he was an 18-year-old high school dropout and she was 17, entering her senior year at St. Petersburg High School.[5] When he was 18, he joined the Army National Guard and served from 1948 to 1957.[6] After finishing his service, he applied for a job as an insurance salesman and ultimately ran an insurance agency.[1]

Florida Senate[edit]

Young in 1968.

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.[6][7][8] Until 1963, Young was the only Republican in Florida's upper chamber.[9]

From 1962 through 1964, Young served on the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, commonly known as the Johns Committee (for its Chairman Charley Eugene Johns), 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.[10] At the time, Young said of homosexuality: "Our report tried to show it in its true light – it's a very repulsive subject."[11][12] 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."[11] 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.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Young with Richard Nixon and Don Reed


Young was elected to Congress in 1970 from what was then the 8th District and was reelected 20 times. With the exception of his first term, he represented a district located almost entirely in Pinellas County. The district, which changed numbers four times during Young's tenure (it was the 8th District from 1971 to 1973, the 6th District from 1973 to 1983, the 8th District again from 1983 to 1993, the 10th from 1993 to 2013 and has been the 13th since 2013) was once considered a Republican stronghold; the St. Petersburg area had been one of the first parts of Florida to turn Republican. However, it has become much friendlier to Democratic candidates in recent years, at least on the national level. Since 1988, it has supported a Republican for president only once, in 2004. Despite the Democratic trend in his district at the national level, Young remained popular, and rarely faced serious opposition. He only twice received less than 60% of the vote, in 1992 and 2012.


Young was a member of the Appropriations Committee for his entire time in Congress, and was able to use that seat to steer millions of federal dollars to his district. His earmarks have been used for U.S. Highway 19, high tech jobs, healthcare for children, clean water, and defense contractors. This was a major reason why he was able to hold onto his seat for so long even as it became friendlier to Democrats at the national level. It is considered[by whom?] extremely difficult to defeat an Appropriations Committee member at an election, especially if the member is a subcommittee chairman ("Cardinal") or the chairman of the full committee.


In 1974, all four Republican congressmen from Florida said they would support impeaching President Richard Nixon over the Watergate Scandal.[13]

In the 1976 Republican primary for president, Young endorsed President Gerald Ford over California Governor Ronald Reagan.[14]


In 1980, Young endorsed moderate George H. W. Bush over Ronald Reagan in the Republican primary.[15]

Young opposed any spending cuts to the United States Coast Guard.[16] He strongly opposed deficit reduction.[17]

He was instrumental in creating a national registry for bone marrow donors in 1986. Now named after him, it lists nearly 10 million volunteer donors and has facilitated transplants for more than 50,000 people.[18]


After the 1994 Republican Revolution, House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the position of chairman of the Appropriations Committee to Bob Livingston of Louisiana instead of Young, even though Young had more seniority. When Dennis Hastert became speaker in 1999, Young finally became the chairman.[19]

Young strongly supported increases in defense spending and sent letters to Congressman John Kasich, Chairman of the Budget Committee, recommending an increase in DOD funding.[20][21] Young strongly supported the F-22 Raptor.[22]

In a 1999 The New York Times interview, Young stated, "In my short life I've been shot, I've been hit by a truck, survived an airplane crash, I've had my chest opened and my heart rebuilt. And it's sort of hard to get me flustered after all that."[4]


In 2005, Young received 3,570 earmark requests from members of Congress, because it was his last year as chairman of the committee. He believed 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."[23] From 2007 to 2008, $167 million in earmarked funds came to the Tampa Bay Area.[24]

Bill Young with Former President Bill Clinton and Representative Dave Obey in September 2001.

At the State of the Union Address on January 31, 2006, authorities expressly prohibited the display of political ideology on clothing in the U.S. Capitol. Young's wife was asked to leave shortly after anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was ejected for wearing an anti-war T-shirt. Beverly Young's T-shirt stated: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom." She argued with Capitol Hill Police officers in the hallway outside the House chamber. "They said I was protesting," she told the St. Petersburg Times. "I said, 'Read my shirt, it is not a protest.' They said, 'We consider that a protest.' I said, 'Then you are an idiot.'" Young was angry about the way his wife was treated. "Because she had on a shirt that someone didn't like that said support our troops, she was kicked out of this gallery," Young said on the House floor the following day, holding up the gray shirt. "Shame, shame," he said.[25] Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer apologized in a statement late that same day.[26] Young said he was not necessarily satisfied. "My wife was humiliated," he told reporters. He suggested that "sensitivity training" might be in order for the Capitol Police.[27]

On September 29, 2008, Young voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[28]

Young supported over $70 million in combined earmarks to two companies that employed his sons, both before and after they were employees. Young's son, Patrick, was hired by defense contractor SAIC when the company received earmarks requested by Young.[29]

In 2009 Young signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[30]

In 2011, Young resisted a request by the Pentagon to transfer $863 million in funds from Humvee production to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the conflict in Afghanistan. AM General, which makes the Humvee, has been a contributor to Young's campaigns.[31][32][33] Young denied that his actions "put American lives at risk", pointing to an urgent Marine Corps request to improve crew protection on existing Humvees as reason enough to preserve some funding for additional vehicles beyond armed forces requirements.[34] Nonetheless, Young's committee approved $613 million of the Humvee funds to buy equipment for Afghanistan.[34]

After eleven years of supporting the Afghanistan wars, Young turned against the war in 2012 after Army Staff Sgt. Matthew S. Sitton of Largo was killed in Afghanistan after sending Young a letter pointing out problems there and predicting his own death. Young's wife had also been trying to persuade her husband to oppose continued American involvement in Afghanistan.[35] Young said "we're killing kids who don't need to die."[36]

Committee assignments[edit]

Young received a term limit waiver to retain his chairmanship of the Appropriations Subcommittee for the 113th Congress. House Republicans limit committee chairmen to a six-year term, but Young received two consecutive waivers extending this limit.[37]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • Army Caucus
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus
  • Congressional Human Rights Caucus
  • Congressional Social Security Caucus (Co-chair)
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Sportsmen's Caucus

Electoral history[edit]

Florida's 8th congressional district: Results 1970[38]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct
1970 C. W. Bill Young 120,466 67% Ted Bailey 58,904 33%
Florida's 6th congressional district: Results 1972–1980[38]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct
1972 C. W. Bill Young 156,150 76% Michael O. Plunkett 49,399 24%
1974 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 109,302 76% Mickey Monrose 34,886 24%
1976 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 151,371 65% Gabriel Cazares 80,821 35%
1978 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 150,694 79% Jim Christison 40,654 21%
1980 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
Florida's 8th congressional district: Results 1982–1990[38]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct
1982 C. W. Bill Young Unopposed 100%
1984 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 184,553 80% Robert Kent 45,393 20%
1986 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
1988 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 169,165 73% C. Bette Wimbish 62,539 27%
1990 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
Florida's 10th congressional district: Results 1992–2010[38]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct Third Party Votes Pct Third Party Votes Pct
1992 C. W. Bill Young 149,606 57% Karen Moffitt 114,809 43%
1994 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
1996 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 114,443 67% Henry Green 57,375 33%
1998 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
2000 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 146,799 76% Josette Green (Natural Law) 26,908 14% Randy Heine (independent) 20,296 10%
2002 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) Unopposed 100%
2004 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 207,175 69% Robert D. Derry 91,658 31%
2006 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 131,488 66% Samm Simpson 67,950 34%
2008 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 182,781 61% Bob Hackworth 118,430 39%
2010 C. W. Bill Young (inc.) 137,943 66% Charlie Justice 71,313 34%
Florida's 13th congressional district: Results 2012[39]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct
2012 C. W. Bill Young 189,605 58% Jessica Ehrlich 139,742 42%

Other activities[edit]

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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Young married Marian Ford on August 20, 1949, when he was an 18-year-old high school dropout and she was 17, entering her senior year at St. Petersburg High School.[5] They had three children: Terry, Pamela, and Kimber. In 1985, after 36 years of marriage, Young divorced Marian.[40] As part of the divorce agreement, Marian received $2,000 per month in alimony in exchange for agreeing to seal the divorce records and not speaking publicly about it during Young's lifetime. Eight days after the divorce became final, Young married Beverly Angello, who had worked as a secretary in his congressional office and was 25 years his junior.[5] Young and Beverly had two children together: Charles William "Billy" (who was born in 1984, while Young was still married to Marian)[5] and Patrick, in addition to Beverly's son, Robbie, from her first marriage.[41]

On October 18, 2013, Young died at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 82. He had been hospitalized for almost two weeks after suffering a broken hip and fractured pelvis.[5] Doctors could not perform hip surgery because of brittle bones caused by multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that forms in bone marrow.[5][42][43]

On January 6, 2014, Marian Young and the three children from his first marriage spoke out for the first time since Young's death. Marian said that her lawyer had specifically asked her to keep silent about her husband's affair with Beverly due to concerns that he would lose his congressional seat. Even though the divorce records were sealed, many journalists at the time "knew about the affair and the [extramarital child's] birth, but believed such issues fell outside the public's right to know." Terry, Pamela and Kimber also claimed that they had only heard from their father sporadically in the three decades following the divorce.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Rep. Bill Young (R)". NationalJournal. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  2. ^ "bill young". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. December 16, 1930. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "TribLIVE | Obituaries – Wiley, Wilma". Obituaries.triblive.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Weiner, Tim (August 5, 1999). "Struggles in His Past, Burdens in His Present". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Meachum, Andrew (January 5, 2014). "Bill Young's first family emerges to tell their story". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c ""Young, Charles W. (Bill)" in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, access 14 July 2011". Bioguide.congress.gov. December 16, 1930.
  7. ^ "Florida Senators". January 13, 2018. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "The People of Lawmaking in Florida 1822 - 2010" (PDF). Florida House of Representatives. June 2010.
  9. ^ "Was C.W. Bill Young ever the only Republican in the Florida Senate?". October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  10. ^ "Homosexuality and citizenship in Florida". University of Florida Digital Collections. January 1964. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Barstow, David (July 2, 1993). "Congressman says little about involvement". St. Petersburg Times. pp. 6A.
  12. ^ Barstow, David (July 2, 1993). "Congressman says little about involvement (online abstract of article)". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "Nixon Losing Support in Florida". Lakeland Ledger. August 7, 1974. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  14. ^ "President Accused Of Politics". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. March 16, 1976. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Richardson, Michael (March 1, 1980). "Florida is the acid test for Ford Entry". The Evening Independent. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  16. ^ "House opposes move to cut Coast Guard". Rome News-Tribune. November 21, 1985. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  17. ^ Eisler, Peter (October 23, 1989). "Florida Ahead by Millions, Even if Budget Cuts Stick". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  18. ^ Zengerle, Patricia (October 18, 2013). "Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82". Reuters. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  19. ^ Catalina Camia (October 18, 2013). "Rep. C.W. Bill Young, House Republican, dies at 82". Usatoday.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  20. ^ ERIC SCHMITT (January 29, 1995). "Republicans Finding Dissension in Ranks on Military Issues – New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  21. ^ "NewsLibrary Search Results".
  22. ^ "NewsLibrary Search Results".
  23. ^ "Harris Shuns Spending Requests". Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. Retrieved 2006-03-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) March 3, 2006. TBO.com
  24. ^ "Allison, Wes and Bill Adair. St.Petersburg Times. "Neither party can resist pork's allure." Front Page. February 14, 2008. Online" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Police apologize, drop charge against Sheehan (Posted 2/1/2006 6:14 pm)". USA Today. February 1, 2006.
  26. ^ "US Capitol Police – Press Release (February 1, 2006)". Uscapitolpolice.gov. February 1, 2006.
  27. ^ "Charges against Sheehan dropped – Politics- NBC News:(updated 8:18 p.m. ET February 1, 2006)". NBC News. February 2, 2006.
  28. ^ "Bailout Roll Call" (PDF). September 29, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  29. ^ "Rep. Young's earmarks helped his children's employers". St. Petersburg Times. April 9, 2008. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  30. ^ Young, Bill (April 27, 2009). "Americans for Prosperity Applauds U.S. Representative C.W." Americans for Prosperity. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 19, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  31. ^ Bennett, John T. (March 2, 2011). "Gates, lawmaker clash on Humvee program". Thehill.com.
  32. ^ Adam Weinstein (March 2, 2011). "Are GOPers Playing Politics With Military Gear?". Motherjones.com.
  33. ^ Pincus, Walter. "A successor to Gates is a quandary for Obama." The Washington Post, March 8, 2011.
  34. ^ a b Bennett, John T. "Veteran appropriator scolds Gates, mostly approves funding shift." The Hill, March 9, 2011.
  35. ^ "Even Rep. C.W. Bill Young's wife surprised by retirement | Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. October 9, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  36. ^ "Rep. Bill Young, 82, of Florida". January 7, 2014. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  37. ^ Herb, Jeremy (December 31, 2012). "Rep. Young gets waiver to remain Defense Appropriations chairman". The Hill. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  38. ^ a b c d "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  39. ^ "November 6, 2012 General Election – Official Results". Florida Department of State. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  40. ^ "U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young dies at 82". Tampa Bay Times. October 18, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  41. ^ Adair, Bill (December 19, 2005). "Capitol Hill wife who just won't sit still". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  42. ^ "Florida US Rep. Bill Young dies at 82; Tampa Bay Republican had served 43 years in Congress". Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  43. ^ "Florida US Rep. Bill Young dies at 82". WGEM TV. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

External links[edit]

Florida Senate
Preceded by Member of the Florida Senate
from the 11th district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the Florida Senate
from the 19th district

Succeeded by
John T. Ware
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Most senior Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by