Science

Former Alaska Senate Speaker Ben Stevens dies while hiking at age 63

Ben Stevens, former Speaker of the Alaska Senate and son of the late US Sen. Ted StevensHas died while hiking in his home state. He was 63 years old.

Alaska State Troopers said they responded to a report Thursday evening that a pedestrian on the Lost Lake Trail near Seward had a medical emergency. Soldiers said the hiker was later identified as Stevens. The soldiers’ statement said a medical service arrived at the scene at 6:41 p.m. and that “lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.”

Soldiers said Stevens’ body was taken to Anchorage and his family was notified.

Then-Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens, a Republican representing Anchorage, center, and Sen. Gary Stevens, a Republican representing Kodiak, right, during the Senate floor to Sen. Kim Elton, a Democrat representing Juno. Hear, May 3, 2006 Sessions at the Capitol in Juneau.
Then-Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens, a Republican representing Anchorage, center, and Sen. Gary Stevens, a Republican representing Kodiak, right, during the Senate floor to Sen. Kim Elton, a Democrat representing Juno. Hear, May 3, 2006 Sessions at the Capitol in Juneau.

AP Photo/Cena O’Sullivan


Irek Isaacson, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, where Stevens served as vice president of foreign affairs and transportation, said in a statement Friday that the company is “deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Ben Stevens.”

Stevens joined the company in early 2021 after serving as chief of staff to Republican Gov.

“I will always cherish the time he was my chief of staff; his knowledge and political acumen were important assets in my administration,” Dunleavy said on social media.

A message seeking comment was sent to the Ted Stevens Foundation. Ted Stevens, Joe died in a plane crash in 2010Was a Republican US Senator for Alaska for 40 years.

Ben Stevens, a Republican, was appointed to the state Senate in 2001. He was president of the Senate in 2005 and 2006, but has not sought re-election after that.

His office was one of at least six state legislative offices raided by federal agents in 2006 as part of a corruption investigation. Stevens was never charged with the crime. He denied any wrongdoing.

Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent on social media, said he had spent time with Stevens twice this week and that the news of his unexpected death was “real.”

Members of the Congressional delegation to Alaska called Stevens a friend. U.S. Representative Mary Peltola, a Democrat whose time in the state legislature overlapped with that of Stevens, said Alaska had lost a “great leader who worked tirelessly for our entire state.”

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on social media that Stevens’ death “leaves a hole in the fabric of our Alaska.” US Sen. Dan Sullivan tweeted that he was “shocked and bewildered” to learn of Stevens’ death.

“Ben was a true public servant who loved Alaska and always fought for the interests of our state with the same zeal as Ted Stevens,” Sullivan wrote.

Alaska Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich said there were times when he and Stevens had agreed on policy and timing when they quarreled.

Stevens “was a bulldog, but when it came down to it, we always had the ability to work with each other to determine how to move this great state forward. Ben appointed Alaska to the governor’s chief of staff.” As Senate president, as an activist and as an Alaskan,” Begich, an Anchorage Democrat, said in a statement.

“A fierce commitment to politics and service to Alaska was in Ben’s blood,” said Peter Mikiche, the president of the state Senate, a Republican.

Stevens is survived by his wife Elizabeth and their children.

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