Ted Stevens, United States Senator, Died at 86

  Dead Famous

Theodore Fulton “Ted” Stevens, Sr. on August 9, 2010 at the age of 86, he was a United States Senator from Alaska, whose tenure extended from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009.

He was thus the longest-serving Republican senator in history.

He was among nine people on board when the 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, crashed into a brush- and rock-covered mountainside Monday afternoon about 17 miles north of the southwest Alaska fishing town of Dillingham, federal officials said.

Stevens served for six decades in the American public sector, beginning with his service in World War II.

In 1952, his law career took him to Fairbanks, Alaska, where he was appointed U.S. Attorney the following year.

In 1956, he returned to Washington D.C. to work in the Eisenhower Interior Department, where he played an important role in bringing about statehood for Alaska.

He was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1964 and became House majority leader in his second term.

In 1968, Stevens ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, but was appointed to Alaska’s other Senate seat when it became vacant later that year.

Born November 18, 1923, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the third of four children, in a small cottage built by his paternal grandfather after the marriage of his parents, Gertrude S. (née Chancellor) and George A. Stevens.

The family later lived in Chicago, where George Stevens was an accountant before losing his job during the Great Depression.

Around this time, when Ted Stevens was six years old, his parents divorced, and Stevens and his three siblings went back to Indianapolis to reside with their paternal grandparents, followed shortly thereafter by their father, who developed problems with his eyes and went blind for several years.

After the war, Stevens attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1947.

While at UCLA, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Theta Rho chapter).

He applied to law school at Stanford and the University of Michigan, but on the advice of his friend Russell Green’s father to “look East,” he applied to Harvard Law School, which he ended up attending.

Stevens’ education was partly financed by the G.I. Bill; he made up the difference by selling his blood, borrowing money from an uncle, and working several jobs—including one as a bartender in Boston.

During the summer of 1949, Stevens was a research assistant in the office of the U.S.

Attorney for the Southern District of California, now the Central District of California.

Stevens’ death stunned lawmakers and residents alike because of his pre-eminence in Alaska history: A decorated World War II pilot who survived a deadly 1978 plane crash, he was the longest-serving Republican senator in history and became the patron saint of Alaska politics as he brought billions of federal dollars home.

On July 29, 2008, Stevens was indicted on seven counts of making false statements on his Senate financial forms, according to a 28-page federal grand jury indictment.

He had been under investigation to determine whether he had arranged a government contract for an Alaska-based energy company that helped renovate his vacation house in Alaska a few months later.

The FBI and IRS raided his home in July 2007 to search for evidence.

Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp. and its executives and that he concealed “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation” from May 1999 to August 2007.