Former Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond Dies

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Jay Hammond (search), a bush pilot and hunting guide who served two terms as Alaska's governor and helped create the oil-royalty fund that dispenses annual dividend checks to nearly everyone in the state, died Tuesday at 83.

Hammond died at his home in Lake Clark. The cause of death was not immediately known, state police said.

Hammond, a Republican who was both a conservative and a conservationist, was governor from 1975 to 1982, during which oil began flowing down the Alaska pipeline.

During his time in office, Alaska's broad-based tourism industry was born, fishery stocks were revived and the Alaska Permanent Fund was created.

The fund pays nearly every man, woman and child in Alaska a yearly share of the state's oil wealth. Last year, the payout was $919 per person.