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Former Sen. Stevens of Alaska dies in plane crash

Former Sen. Stevens was among five people killed in the crash outside Dillingham, about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage. Former Sen. Stevens was an uncompromising advocate for Alaska for four decades.

By Mark ThiessenAssociated Press / August 10, 2010

In this Aug. 4, 2008 file photo, former Sen. Stevens (R-Alaska) speaks in Anchorage, Alaska, announcing that he is running for re-election. Former Sen. Stevens was among five people killed in the crash outside Dillingham, about 325 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Al Grillo/AP/File

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska

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.

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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.)