Clem Tillion, one of Alaska's most influential fisheries and political leaders, died this week at age 96.

Tillion was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1925, arrived in Alaska in 1947 -- 12 years before it officially became a state -- and homesteaded in Halibut Cove, near Homer.

He was elected to the Alaska Legislature in 1962 and re-elected to both the House and Senate, where he played a key role in drafting and enacting many of the first fisheries laws that continue to guide management today.

In 1976, he was named to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), on which he served through 1983, including as chairman from 1978 through the end of his term. He was reappointed from 1991 to 1997.

He left public office in 1980 but remained active in state politics and fisheries issues.

In a Twitter post noting Tillion's passing, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski called him a "legend in the world of Alaska fisheries policy."

"Alaska weeps again today at the loss of this giant who leaves an indelible mark on the history our great state," former Alaska Governor Bill Walker posted on Twitter.

State flags will fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Oct. 18 in Tillion’s honor, reports the Anchorage Daily News.

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