Former Alaska Sen. Stevens dies in plane crash - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former Alaska Sen. Stevens dies in plane crash

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Former Sen. Ted Stevens, an uncompromising advocate for Alaska for four decades who delivered scores of expensive projects to one of the nation's most sparsely populated states, has died in a plane crash at the age of 86.

Family spokesman Mitch Rose says Stevens was among five people killed in the crash outside Dillingham, about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Stevens began his career in the days before Alaska statehood and did not leave politics until 2008, when he was convicted on corruption charges weeks before Election Day. But a federal judge threw out the verdict because of misconduct by federal prosecutors. Stevens, a moderate Republican, was appointed in December 1968 and became the longest-serving Republican in Senate history.

(The late Strom Thurmond was in the Senate longer than Stevens, but he spent a decade there as a Democrat before switching to the GOP.)

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