McAlester, Okla.—One of the most powerful and colorful politicians in Oklahoma’s history has died at the age of 85.
Former State Sen. Gene Stipe passed away around 6 p.m. Saturday.
Stipe was the youngest Oklahoman to be elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives back in 1948 at just 22-years-old.
Just eight years later, he was elected to the Senate in 1956.
By the time he left the Senate in 2003, the McAlester democrat had served 53 years in the Oklahoma legislature.
His career wasn’t without controversy; he pleaded guilty in 2003 to federal campaign violations.
Despite his legal troubles, Stipe remained popular in his home district.
Funeral arraignments are pending.