Former Senator Ted Stevens, who for years had a strong hand in controlling the nation's purse strings, died in a small plane crash that killed at least five people in his home state of Alaska, a family spokesman said on Tuesday.
The North American chief of European aerospace giant and Airbus maker EADS', Sean O'Keefe, and his son, survived the Monday night crash, a sourced briefed on the matter said.
Stevens, the longest serving Republican senator ever, chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and was a strong supporter of robust U.S. defense budgets. A family spokesman confirmed his death in the crash. He was 86.
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