A Democrat, John Dingell, Jr. fit in nobody's boxes. He was a hunter and fisherman all his life, and worked as a park ranger in the Rockies and at Mount Rainier while going to college and law school in the late 1940s. An infantryman in World War II, and certain to be deployed in the invasion of Japan, he would say that the dropping of the atomic bomb almost certainly saved his life. Standing against the prevailing currents of his political party, he was a supporter of gun rights, with an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association, and was at one time on the NRA's board of directors. He was a Catholic who most often voted pro-choice on abortion issues. He is recognized as one of America's greatest environmental leaders—a champion of the original Clean Water Act of 1965, the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). He was also a strong, and lifelong, advocate for policies that supported wildlife, fisheries, and public lands. At the same time, Dingell relentlessly fought any regulations, including safety upgrades and environmentally-friendly fuel economy standards, that could impact the auto industry that was the bread and butter of his district.