(CNN) - Aviation gave and aviation took away throughout Ted Stevens' adult life.
The former U.S. senator, who died with several other people aboard a plane that crashed Monday night near Dillingham, Alaska, was a decorated Army Air Corps pilot during World War II, and the international airport in Anchorage, Alaska, was renamed in his honor in 2000.
Stevens survived the crash of a Learjet at that airport in 1978, but his first wife, Ann, and four other people perished. He remarried in 1980.
Often re-elected to the Senate with a share of the vote approaching 80 percent, Stevens served 40 years and 10 days and was the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history. (Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was a Democrat for part of his 47-year tenure.)