‘Sen. Ted Stevens Dies In A Plane Crash’

Aviation has given and aviation has taken away throughout Ted Stevens' adult life. The former U.S. senator, who was reported to be aboard a plane that crashed Monday night near Dillingham, Alaska, was a decorated Army Air Corps pilot during World War II, and the international airport in Anchorage, Alaska, was renamed in his honor in 2000. Stevens survived the crash of a Learjet at that airport in 1978, but his first wife, Ann, and four other people perished. He remarried in 1980. Often re-elected to the Senate by margins approaching 80 percent, Stevens served 40 years and 10 days and was the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history. (Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was a Democrat for part of his 47-year tenure.) Stevens earned the nickname "Uncle Ted" and a reputation as one of the most effective of all pork-barrel lawmakers, a senator who funneled billions of federal dollars to his home state. Stevens' Senate career ended in 2008 when he lost his bid for re-election, done in by a conviction in federal court days before the election. A federal judge set aside the conviction the following April, citing prosecutorial misconduct. Stevens was convicted of seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial disclosure forms. The jury found Stevens failed to report about $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his house in Alaska between 1999 and 2006, paid for by the head of a large oil-services company.