The 82-year-old Republican announced Thursday in Greensboro he won't seek re-election in 2014, opening the seat for the first time in three decades.
Coble is the longest-serving GOP House member in North Carolina history, having first won the seat in 1984. He's been considered a reliable conservative representing the Triad region and surrounding counties. He's probably best known for his committee work on intellectual property issues and for refusing to take a congressional pension in the name of fiscal conservatism.
Coble has been hospitalized for a variety of ailments over the past few years, including a respiratory infection in late 2011 and recent surgeries.
Several Republicans are expected to run for the seat.
Congressman George released the following statement regarding Coble's announcement that he will not seek re-election: "It is an honor to serve in Congress with our Leader, Howard Coble. A sharp-minded pillar in the House of Representatives, Howard has admirably served the people of North Carolina and his country for almost 30 years. I am extremely grateful for his guidance and thank him for his dedication to public service."