Dave Dittman, a former aide and close family friend of former Sen. Ted Stevens, confirms to local Alaksa station KTUU that Stevens was killed in a plane crash in his home state on Monday night.
A small plane carrying at least eight people, possibly including former Sen. Ted Stevens, crashed last night near Dillingham, Alaska. Sources feared former Sen. Ted Stevens was on board the flight.
Sen. Ted Stevens, a Republican, lost a 2008 re-election bid, just days after being convicted of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms about expensive gifts he received from an Alaska businessman. That conviction was later thrown out, however, when a federal judge ruled that Stevens had been the victim of prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens, 86, served in the Senate for more than 40 years.
Theodore "Ted" Fulton Stevens (born November 18, 1923) is a former Republican United States Senator from Alaska, serving from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009. Stevens was President pro tempore in the 108th and 109th Congresses from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2007. Stevens is the longest-serving Republican senator in history (Strom Thurmond, who might otherwise have held this title, was a Democrat until 1964) and 7th longest-serving senator in history. Stevens was Alaska's senior senator all but 10 days of his tenure. Stevens was replaced as President pro tem by Robert Byrd assuming Byrd's previous honorary role of "President pro tempore emeritus." He is only the third Senator to hold the title of President pro tempore emeritus, having been preceded in this position by Byrd and Strom Thurmond.
Stevens served for six decades in the American public sector, beginning with his service in World War II. In the 1950s, he held senior positions in the Eisenhower Interior Department. He served continuously in the Senate since December 1968. He played key roles in legislation that shaped Alaska's economic and social development, including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. He is also known for his sponsorship of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which resulted in the establishment of the United States Olympic Committee.