Charles William Young (December 16, 1930 – October 18, 2013), more commonly known as C.W. Bill Young, was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 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.
|Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 1971 – October 18, 2013
|Preceded by||William Cramer|
|Succeeded by||David Jolly|
|Constituency||13th district (2013)
10th district (1993–2013)
8th district (1983–1993)
6th district (1973–1983)
8th district (1971–1973)
|Chair of the House Appropriations Committee|
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Bob Livingston|
|Succeeded by||Jerry Lewis|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 19th district
|Preceded by||Beth Johnson|
|Succeeded by||John T. Ware|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 11th district
|Preceded by||Frank J. Houghton|
|Succeeded by||William T. Stockton Jr.|
Charles William Young
December 16, 1930
Harmarville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||October 18, 2013
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
( m. 1949; div. 1985)
( m. 1985)
|Children||Terry (with Ford)
Pamela (with Ford)
Kimber (with Ford)
Billy (with Angello)
Patrick (with Angello)
|Branch/service||Army National Guard|
|Years of service||1948–1957|
Early life, education, and early careerEdit
Young was born in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, in 1930. He had Irish, German, and Swiss ancestry. 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, Wilma M. (Hulings) Young, and was wounded in a hunting accident. 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. When he was 18, he joined the Army National Guard and served from 1948 to 1957. After finishing his service, 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. Until 1963, Young was the only Republican in Florida's upper chamber.
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. 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 RepresentativesEdit
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, the district has always been located entirely within 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. 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 was almost always reelected easily. He only twice received less than 60% of the vote, in 1992 and 2012.
Having been a member of the Appropriations Committee for his entire time in congress, Young is known best for bringing federal dollars to Pinellas County. 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; it is considered extremely difficult to defeat an Appropriations Committee member at an election, especially if the member is an Appropriations subcommittee chairman ("Cardinal") or the chairman of the full committee.
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.
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.
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. Young strongly supported the F-22 Raptor.
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."
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." From 2007–2008, $167 million in earmarked funds came to the Tampa Bay Area.
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. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer apologized in a statement late that same day. 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.
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.
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. 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. Nonetheless, Young's committee approved $613 million of the Humvee funds to buy equipment for Afghanistan.
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. Young said "we're killing kids who don't need to die."
- Committee on Appropriations
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.
- 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
|1970||C. W. Bill Young||120,466||67%||Ted Bailey||58,904||33%|
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
|2012||C. W. Bill Young||189,605||58%||Jessica Ehrlich||139,742||42%|
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. They had three children: Terry, Pamela, and Kimber. In 1985, after 36 years of marriage, Young divorced Marian. 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. Young and Beverly had two children together: Charles William "Billy" (who was born in 1984, while Young was still married to Marian) and Patrick, in addition to Beverly's son, Robbie, from her first marriage.
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. Doctors could not perform hip surgery because of brittle bones caused by multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that forms in bone marrow.
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.
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- "Homosexuality and citizenship in Florida". University of Florida Digital Collections. January 1964. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
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- Zengerle, Patricia (October 18, 2013). "Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82". Reuters. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Young.|
- Congressman C.W. Bill Young official U.S. House website (archived)
- Bill Young for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program DoD Bone Marrow Donor website