10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ted Stevens

Compiled by the U.S. News library staff


Compiled by the U.S. News library staff

1. Ted Stevens was born Nov. 18, 1923, in Indianapolis. At the beginning of the Great Depression his parents divorced and sent him to live with his aunt in Redondo Beach, Calif.

2. He attended Oregon State University and Montana State University before leaving college to fly with the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946. He flew C-46s in Asia in support of the Flying Tigers and earned several medals, including a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal.

3. After leaving the military, he received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1947 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1950. He received an honorary law degree from the University of Alaska in 1975.

4. He was first appointed to the Senate after Democrat E. L. “Bob” Bartlett died in office in 1968; he won the seat in a special election in 1970. At the time of Stevens’s appointment, Newsweek described him as “a 5-foot, 6-inch cigar smoker who hunts moose and won a reputation as a scrapper in the Alaska House of Representatives.”

5. He married his first wife, Ann Cherrington, in 1952; they had five children together. In 1978, he and Ann were passengers in a Learjet that crash-landed at Anchorage International Airport. Ann was killed, and Stevens was one of two survivors. It took months to recover from his injuries. He married his second wife, Catherine Chandler, in 1980; they have one daughter.

6. He was president pro tempore of the Senate—third in line for the presidency—from 2003 to 2006.

7. He is the longest-serving Republican in Senate history.

8. Though his constituents affectionately nicknamed him “Uncle Ted,” he is known for his bad temper and once described himself as “a mean, miserable SOB.”

9. He was named “Alaskan of the Century” in 2000.The same year, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to rename the airport in Anchorage as Ted Stevens International Airport.

10. He has been under FBI investigation to determine whether he had a role in arranging a government contract for the company that remodeled his house—almost doubling its size—a few months later. The FBI raided his home in July 2007 in search of evidence.

Current Biography Yearbook 2001
Almanac of American Politics
New York Times
Anchorage Daily News
Roll Call