BARROW (AP) -- Edward Hopson, Sr., a Native leader who helped build the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. into a success, has died.
Hopson died Tuesday of pneumonia at Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital. He was 80.
Hopson was an integral part of forming the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. He served as the Arctic Slope Regional Corp.'s first vice president from 1972 to 1977, and later became president from 1977 to 1983. He served as chairman of the board from 1983 to 1994.
Hopson's leadership helped the Arctic Slope to grow into the largest Alaskan-owned corporation in the state. Arctic Slope has revenues exceeding $850 million a year.
Hopson served on the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, North Slope Borough Assembly and ASRC Housing Authority Commission. He also helped establish rural schools.
''Eddie was a true ambassador for Alaska Natives,'' said Arctic Slope President Jacob Adams who is married to Hopson's daughter Lucille. ''He was an advocate of education and a tenacious fighter for Alaska Native subsistence rights. His family, friends and colleagues will miss his vision, kind-heartedness and wisdom across the state.''
The corporation began in 1972 with 3,700 Inupiat shareholders and became one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the country. Its portfolio includes three dozen companies that are involved in engineering and consulting, construction, aerospace, plastics, communications and petroleum.
Last year, Forbes magazine added Arctic Slope to its annual list of top 500 private companies in America.
A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday at the Barrow High School Gymnasium.
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