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They're how old?! Ranking Congress' 5 oldest, 5 youngest members

Here's how our nation's outlying lawmakers compare in age to everyday inventions.
Credit: Chuck Grassley; Adobe Stock
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is just about 5 years younger than sliced bread.

MOLINE, Ill. — Iowa's Sen. Chuck Grassley announced Friday, Sept. 24 he was running for reelection. The republican senator, who turned 88 years old this month, would be seeking his 8th 6-year term in the office.

Back in June, the Des Moines Register published a poll that said 64% of Iowa's likely voters thought it was time for someone new to takeover Grassley's seat in the 2022 term. 

RELATED: Chuck Grassley running for reelection in U.S. Senate

But Grassley isn't the oldest member of Congress still sticking around. As of Sept. 27, 195 members of the House of Representatives and Senate are 65 years or older. The three oldest members of the legislature are 88. 

Although under law the minimum age requirement is 25 for the House and 35 for the Senate, only 32 Congress members are under 40 years old. The nation's youngest Congress member is just 26. 

See how the average age of U.S. Congress members varies by party and state.

In an effort to depict age as more than just a number, we've compared the 117th U.S. Congress' five oldest and five youngest members to things about equally as old as them.

OLDEST MEMBERS

  1. Rep. Don Young (R-Arkansas), 88.
Credit: Don Young: Congressman for All Alaska; Adobe Stock
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) is as old as FM radio.

Alaskan Rep. Don Young, despite his name, is the oldest Congress member. He was born June 9, 1933, and according to his website, he is serving his 25th term in the seat after reelection in 2020. Also introduced in 1933 was the FM radio, according to ThoughtCo.

2. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), 88.

Credit: U.S. Senator for California: Dianne Feinstein; Adobe Stock
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is about 3 years younger than Scotch tape.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the 2nd-oldest Congress member. She was born on June 22, 1933, just a few days shy of Young. Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco in 1978 following the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, according to her website, and was later elected to the Senate in 1992. Patented 3 years ahead of Feinstein's birth was Scotch tape by 3M engineer Richard Drew, according to ThoughtCo.

3. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), 88.

Credit: Chuck Grassley; Adobe Stock
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is just about 5 years younger than sliced bread.

Only about 3 months younger than his oldest coworkers, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was born Sept. 17, 1933. If reelected for his 8th 6-year term in office in 2022, he would be a whopping 95 years old at the end of his term. To put his age into context, he's just 5 years younger than sliced bread, which was created in 1928 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, according to Gold Medal Bakery.

4. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), 87.

Credit: Richard Shelby; Adobe Stock
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) is one year older than canned beer.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby comes in 4th on this list but is just a year and 1 month younger than Congress' oldest. Shelby was born May 6, 1934. He is serving his 6th term in the Senate after being first elected in 1986, according to his website, and prior to that, he served four terms in the House. One year younger than Shelby was the invention of canned beer in 1935, according to ThoughtCo.

5. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), 86.

Credit: Jim Inhofe; Adobe Stock
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) is 3 years older than the first jet engine.

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, born Nov. 17, 1934, is 5 months younger than Shelby. Inhofe was elected to his current seat in the Senate in 1994, according to the History, Art & Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives. Three years younger than Inhofe was the first jet engine built, according to ThoughtCo.

YOUNGEST MEMBERS

  1. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina), 26.
Credit: Madison Cawthorn; Adobe Stock
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) is as old as Windows browser Internet Explorer.

North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, born Aug. 1, 1995, is Congress' youngest member. Elected into office in 2020, he became the first Congress member born in the '90s, according to the Washington Post. Also making its debut in 1995 was Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to the Texas Computer Education Association; however, Cawthorn outlived the internet browser because it was no longer supported by Windows in August 2021.

2. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), 31.

Credit: Ingest; Adobe Stock
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) is the same age as the Nintendo Game Boy.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka "AOC," was elected into office in 2018 when she defeated incumbent Joe Crowley, according to her website. Born Oct. 14, 1989, Ocasio-Cortez was sworn into her 2nd term this year. Also introduced in 1989 was the Nintendo Game Boy, according to the National Museum of American History.

3. Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-California), 32.

Credit: CBS 8; Adobe Stock
Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-California) is 3 years older than the first text message.

California Rep. Sara Jacobs, born Feb. 1, 1989, is just 8 months older than Ocasio-Cortez. Jacobs, according to her website, is the youngest member of California's delegation. She is serving her 1st term in the House and was elected in 2020. Jacobs is 3 years older than the first text message, according to Patent Education Series.

4. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-New York), 33.

Credit: AP; Adobe Stock
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-New York) is as old as Kraft Heinz's Lunchables.

New York Rep. Ritchie Torres, born March 12, 1988, was elected into the House in 2020 and serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, according to his website. Also introduced in 1988 was Kraft Heinz's Lunchables, according to the Washington Post.

5. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kansas), 33.

Credit: Jake LaTurner; Adobe Stock
Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kansas) is the same age as the World Wide Web.

The 5th-youngest in Congress is Kansas Rep. Jake LaTurner, who was born Feb. 17, 1988, about only 1 month after Torres. LaTurner served in the Kansas State Senate from 2013-2017 before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020, according to his website. Just 2 years after LaTurner was born, the World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee, according to ThoughtCo.

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