Sen. Ted Stevens portrait unveiled in nation's capitol - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Sen. Ted Stevens portrait unveiled in nation’s capitol

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all Republicans, joined in celebrating the life and legacy of the late Sen. Ted Stevens as they and a list of invited guests witnessed the ceremonial unveiling of a portrait of Senator Stevens, which will be hung in the U.S. Capitol.

At the time he left office, Senator Stevens was the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator in history.

The portrait, sponsored by the U.S. Senate Commission on Art, is part of its Senate Leadership Portrait Collection, honoring past Leaders and Presidents Pro Tempore.

The portrait recognizes Sen. Stevens’ service as President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate from 2003 to 2007.

Stevens lost his reelection bid in 2008, after the Department of Justice led a witch hunt against him. After the election, Stevens was vindicated, and Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a warning from the bench about what is now known to many Americans to be the Deep State and its ability to ruin lives. The Justice Department was forced to overturn the conviction for public corruption. Stevens died in a plane crash in Alaska on Aug. 9, 2010.

[Read: A cautionary tale: The Ted Stevens prosecution]

The portrait unveiled today. was painted by Dean Larson, a former intern of Senator Stevens from 1980-1981, who grew up in Palmer, Alaska.

VIDEO: Click here for video of the unveiling. 

“Every American should know who Ted was and why he so clearly deserves this honor. Ted dedicated his life to public service, spending more than six decades fighting for the state and country that he loved. Ted was a World War II veteran, he helped Alaska achieve its dream of statehood, and in his forty years in this chamber, he was both a leader and a force to be reckoned with,” said Sen. Murkowski. “I hope this portrait of Ted will be a daily reminder for those of us who serve here – that we can work together, even on the hardest of days; that if we do, we can achieve great things for the American people; and that sometimes, that just might require us to say ‘to hell with politics’ – just do what’s right.”

“The spirit of Ted Stevens lives with us in Congress, throughout the country, and certainly in Alaska. And now we have this beautiful painting in the Capitol—created by an exceptional Alaska artist—to reflect that spirit,” said Senator Sullivan. “Senator Stevens’ service to our country and our state is an example to all. His whole career was spent fighting for our country and for those across the globe who shared a thirst for freedom. But his true love was Alaska, and his true passion was the‘Alaskan Dream’— a dream of an Alaska with promises of the 21st century ‘springing up from the Arctic.’ An Alaska where our federal government works with us, not against us, to achieve our destiny and to develop our resources. An Alaska that lives up to the potential the country saw in it when Congress voted to allow the territory to become the 49th state. Ted Stevens brought us closer to that dream and calls on each of us to carry on his legacy and fight for the state we all love.”

“Senator Ted Stevens was my colleague and my mentor, but most importantly he was my friend. Our families were very close. We would hunt and fish together, and when we were both in Washington, D.C., we were legislative partners focused on getting things done for our great state and its people. Ted’s life was one of service to Alaska and service to his country. Ted was a quintessential public servant — he fought for our country in World War II, would go on to serve in the State Legislature, and spent the remainder of his career standing up for Alaskans in the United States Senate. He was a force to be reckoned with but was also a man of great faith and dedication to family. The day we lost Ted was a dark one for our state and country, and not a day goes by where I don’t think of my friend and his legacy. However, Ted’s family and friends can rest easily knowing that his fingerprints continue to be felt across Alaska, and his deep love of our state lives on in our young people,” said Congressman Young. “Today’s portrait unveiling is a special day for all who knew him. It is my great hope that future generations of Alaskans can look upon this portrait and be reminded of a man who gave his all to our state and country. I would like to thank everybody who worked hard to make this possible – particularly the Ted Stevens Foundation. I know Ted is looking down and is proud of everyone continuing the good work he did here on earth. May God bless Ted Stevens, his family, and all those who have been and will be inspired by Alaska’s ‘Uncle Ted.’”

Stevens devoted more than six decades of his life to public service. He served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying missions in the China-Burma-India theater in support of the Flying Tigers. He later worked at the Department of the Interior, under then-Secretary Fred Seaton, as his point man in the push for statehood for Alaska. After arriving in the Senate in 1968, Stevens went on to chair five committees and served as a member of Republican leadership for nearly a decade. His legacy includes an incredible number of measures that built Alaska and bettered America, including legislation to settle most Alaska Native land claims, enable the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and protect and sustain America’s fisheries. 

Stevens was a staunch proponent of national security and traveled the world to visit our military men and women. As a longtime leader on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, he worked tirelessly to ensure those who serve our country in uniform had the best equipment, better pay, and needed care.

As an appropriator, Stevens secured federal funding that allowed thousands of rural Alaskans to gain access to basic water and sewer infrastructure, telemedicine, bypass mail, and essential air service. He was a strong supporter of Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act, which provides equal opportunity for women to participate in sports, and authored legislation to create the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In 2000, Stevens was voted Alaskan of the Century. The Anchorage International Airport is named for him, his beneficial impact can be seen and felt all throughout the 49th state, and Alaskans celebrate his legacy each year on Ted Stevens Day—the fourth Saturday of July.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Ted was a great and honorable man. Horrendous they way they railroaded him out of office, only to find out too late that he was innocent. It sickens me to see photos of Bryce Edgmon at his grave. Bryce plays put-put while Ted is in the Masters. Long live your name and legacy Ted!! Truly a man for all Alaskans.

  • For all the time and effort trying to convince us she is Uncle Ted reincarnated I’m just wondering why the Senate did not just put a picture of Lisa up on the wall?

  • Every single day I am reminded of Senator Ted Stevens. He is the reason we can exist in Alaska with comfort. He made Alaska inhabitable. We will never say that about L.M. We can say however, that Sen. Dan Sullivan takes his job seriously and his work is based on sound judgment. Rep Don Young has always worked to enable a comfortable life in Alaska. Most Alaskans are extremely tough, even to get here or to be born here. Every single bonus we get, every single improvement we enjoy, is due to some elected official looking out for us.

    Every single bit of whining ( generated by lost souls) is due to weak people who have no allegiance to human kind. Psychopathic behavior anywhere does not promote the positive human condition. Are you listening LISA Murkowski?

    • Need to dump the house majority. They are the root of all That is wrong in Àlaska.

  • While I am here, I must comment on the intruders at AFN convention. Those intruders do not know that Alaskans are nice people. We NEED each other. We are a small population. Whether we live on the road system or in beautiful villages around the state, we all care about each other. The embarrassment Governor Dunleavy and Rose Dunleavy experienced in Fairbanks hurts everyone.

  • He is very much missed.

  • Over the decades, Senator Stevens had many offices in the U.S. Capitol. I had the opportunity to be in his first two.

  • What a terrific video of a great honor to a great Senator. Thank you, Suzanne, for posting this.

  • It is about time for a tribute to Sen. Ted Stevens, a true Alaskan.

  • Ted Stevens came on strong with his first 10 or 15 years…but he gave way to the “swamp” in Washington DC. As always happens with long-term individuals in his ties to money and power. This may be symbolic to you but as history is correct and so are the records, he wasn’t innocent. The end of his career, he wrote. Not pretty…his ties to corruption killed the history of his work life. With a pedophile, Bill Allen, VECO, hanging on his shirt tail and Stevens giving permission for contract monies to be used in his cabin, why does anyone but Lying Lisa Murkowski work so hard to try to pretend it didn’t happen? The family may need money but what is the thinking of having it come out of the coffers of the government to put on a lie? The Senate did the right thing to put him out.. He wouldn’t be able to go back after that. Time to put the truth out there and stop the continual cover up……and pretending.

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