Former State Sen. Ben Stevens has died at age 63. His passing was unexpected.
Benjamin Aavan Stevens was born March 18, 1959, the son of former U.S. Sen. Ted and Ann Stevens. Ben served as senator and was elected Senate President, and was a member of the Republican Party. Later in life, he was chief of staff to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and at the time of his death worked for ConocoPhillips.
During his life he had worked as a commercial fisherman and as the president of Cook Inlet Tug and Barge. He was married to Elizabeth Stevens.
Ben received his B.A. in economics at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.
Ben Stevens was a victim of a relentless investigation by the FBI during his time in office, but he was never convicted of any of the charges the FBI pursued in its never-ending witch-hunt.
Former Sen. Lyda Green said, “I am just devastated to hear this news. I loved him. We got along so well and he was welcome at my office at any time and I was at his. He was one of the most politically astute members I ever worked with. He had such great history, knowing government at a totally different level because of his growing up in D.C. He was so smart.”
Stevens’ mother Ann died in a plane crash in 1978, and he deeply grieved her passing. His father died in a plane crash on Aug. 9, 2010, near Dillingham.
The Stevens family has not made an announcement.
Erec Isaacson, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, issued a statement on Friday morning:
“The entire ConocoPhillips family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing on Thursday evening of our friend and colleague, Ben Stevens. Our sympathies are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Ben was a valued leader at ConocoPhillips Alaska and leaves a significant legacy in the state of Alaska. Ben will be deeply missed not only by his family and colleagues, but in the broader Alaska community.”
This story will be updated.