Longtime Anchorage Rep. Max Gruenberg dead

Rep. Max Gruenberg
Rep. Max Gruenberg, D- Anchorage, addresses the Alaska House of Representatives, Feb. 2, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Longtime Rep. Max Gruenberg died Sunday in Juneau. The Anchorage Democrat was 72.

Gruenberg gained bipartisan respect for his skill in crafting legislation.

He was the senior member of the House. He served during two separate periods, from 1985 to 1992 and again since 2003.

Gruenberg was born and raised in San Francisco. He was an Eagle Scout. And he served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.

A retired family lawyer, Gruenberg sponsored the law that provides Silver Alerts to locate missing, vulnerable adults. Another Gruenberg law requires the removal of asbestos from schools and public buildings.

Gruenberg served twice as the House majority leader. He was the minority whip in the current session.

Gov. Bill Walker ordered that flags by lowered for both Gruenberg and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Walker said Gruenberg’s death is a significant loss for all of Alaska.

Anchorage Democrats will submit three potential replacements to Walker, who will choose one. House Democrats will then accept or reject the choice.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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