Former Alaska attorney general dies at age 89

Former Alaska Attorney General John Havelock died at age 89 on Tuesday night.
Former Alaska Attorney General John Havelock died at age 89 on Tuesday night.(Alaska's News Source)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:22 AM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:59 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former Alaska Attorney General John Havelock, who served under former Gov. William Egan, died on Tuesday night.

Havelock died at age 89 due to his “long fight with cancer,” family members said after announcing his death through social media on Wednesday morning.

“This man who has touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of individuals and groups across the world and country … as an Alaskan founding father, as part of the Lyndon Johnson administration, as a Native Alaskan advocate, and so much more over his storied, accomplished, integrity filled life,” said one of his children on Facebook.

Havelock served as attorney general from 1970-1973 and later served as a professor of justice at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Before his prestigious career, he was born in Toronto until the age of 14 when his father moved to the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area. Havelock went on to Harvard University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1956.

He was later drafted into the Army, and soon after became a military police investigator in Manhattan, New York.

Havelock returned to Cambridge to acquire a doctorate in jurisprudence from Harvard Law School in 1959.

Following his academic studies, he moved to Juneau for a four-year apprenticeship as an assistant attorney general, chief of the civil division and deputy attorney general.

During that time, he became a founding partner of the Ely, Guess, Rudd & Havelock firm in Anchorage, was elected to the board of the state bar association, was the association’s representative on the American Bar Association and was appointed administrator of the Alaska Bar Association.

Havelock also served a short stint as a White House fellow and then became the special assistant to the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

After his time in Washington D.C., Havelock returned to Alaska to work on the settlement of the Alaska Native claims. He also helped organize the Kenai Borough Peninsula, which he served as its attorney. Havelock was then tapped by Egan to serve as attorney general for the administration.

During his state service, Havelock helped enact the Settlement Act, establish tax regimes against oil companies, authorize the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and enact fisheries entry law. He also drafted the language of the state’s Constitutional Privacy Amendment.

After serving under the Egan administration, Havelock played a role in the fruition of the Justice Center at the University of Alaska. The university hired him as a professor, where he helped cultivate numerous students in his classes.

Havelock returned to practice the practice of law years later, but continued teaching part-time for the university’s political science department.

The university recently honored Havelock’s service and his work in public policy and constitutional law by naming the Justice Center’s trial simulation room after him.

Havelock is survived by his wife, five children and seven grandchildren.

Correction: The former governor’s name was corrected.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated.

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