Ted Stevens

Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in the history of the United States, was killed Today in a small plane crash in Alaska. He was 86 years old. The Senator lost his seat after a corruption conviction that was later dismissed. A family friend said Stevens was among five people killed in the crash in southwest Alaska. Stevens was a political legend in the atate of Alaska. He was nicknamed "Uncle Ted," he was named "Alaskan of the Century" in 2000 by the state legislature and the airport in Anchorage bears his name. However, Stevens was also known for his temper, the career-ending corruption trial and championing the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," a $400 million pork transportation project designed to link two remote islands. Stevens began his political career in 1964 when he was elected as a state representative, then served as House Majority Leader two years later. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1968 to fill a vacant seat caused by the death Sen. Bob Bartlett. Two years later, Stevens won the seat in a special election, setting the stage for a four-decade run in the Senate. In 2003, he rose to the office of president pro tempore, making him third in line for the presidency. However, he was replaced four years later by Robert Byrd after Democrats took back control of the Senate. But his career would take a downswing in 2008, when Stevens was convicted of lying on Senate forms about home renovations and gifts he received from wealthy friends. Last year, a federal judge dismissed the conviction after Justice Department lawyers were found to have repeatedly withheld evidence from defense attorneys and the judge during the monthlong trial.