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Jay Sterner Hammond

In office
December 2, 1974 – December 6, 1982
Lieutenant Lowell Thomas, Jr.
Terry Miller
Preceded by William A. Egan
Succeeded by Bill Sheffield

Born July 21, 1922(1922-07-21)
Troy, New York
Died August 2, 2005 (aged 83)
Port Alsworth, Alaska
Political party Republican
Profession Politician, Pilot
Religion Methodism

Jay Sterner Hammond (July 21, 1922 – August 2, 2005) was an American Republican politician who was the fifth Governor of Alaska from 1974 to 1982.



He was born in Troy, New York in 1922. Hammond studied petroleum engineering at Penn State University, where he was a member of Triangle Fraternity. He later served as a Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II with the Black Sheep Squadron, and in China, until 1946. In 1946, Jay Hammond moved to Alaska where he worked as a bush pilot and got a degree in biological sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Alaska State Legislature

Hammond served as a state representative from 1959 to 1965 and as a state senator from 1967 to 1972.


Hammond was the mayor of the Bristol Bay Borough from 1972-1974.

Governor of Alaska

As governor during the biggest economic boom in Alaska's history, the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, Jay Hammond oversaw the creation of the state government's most popular, and famous program, the Alaska Permanent Fund. The Permanent Fund was envisioned by Mr. Hammond as a program to invest oil royalties to cover future state budgets, but since the early 1980s has paid annual dividends to state of Alaska resident also. He also successfully worked to abolish the state income tax.

As governor, Hammond advocated for fiscal responsibility, and introduced a amendment to the Alaska Constitution limiting state spending. He advocated for changing the state Constitution so every governor would serve a single 6 year term without any possibility of getting re-elected. He felt it would allow governors a free hand in accomplishing their goals.

Life After Politics

After his term as governor, Hammond continued to be active in public life. He advocated for environmentally and fiscally responsible government, and individual civic responsibility. Hammond has written articles for newspapers in Alaska, and appeared in tv public service announcements. He hosted a television series, Jay Hammond's Alaska, from 1985 to 1992.

Hammond has written two autobiographies, Tales of Alaska's Bush Rat Governor: The Extraordinary Autobiography of Jay Hammond, Wilderness Guide and Reluctant Politician and Chips from the Chopping Block: More Tales from Alaska's Bush Rat Governor.


Hammond lived in Port Alsworth, Alaska, on Lake Clark, until his death at age 83 on August 2, 2005. According to his wife, Bella, he died peacefully in his sleep.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William A. Egan
Governor of Alaska
Succeeded by
Bill Sheffield


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