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Former president pro tempore of Arkansas Senate dies

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published December 11, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.

state-sen-jim-hill-strikes-a-football-pose-with-quarterback-mitch-mustain-standing-next-to-him-in-this-2006-file-photo-hill-died-wednesday-after-a-lengthy-illness-officials-said

State Sen. Jim Hill strikes a football pose with quarterback Mitch Mustain standing next to him in this 2006 file photo. Hill died Wednesday after a lengthy illness, officials said.

A former legislator who served as the president pro tempore of the Arkansas Senate has died.

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Hill of Nashville died about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at his residence in Nashville after a lengthy illness, Howard County Coroner John Gray said. He was 74.

Hill, who served as the Senate leader for the 84th General Assembly, was a "dear and trusted friend," Gov. Mike Beebe said in a statement.

"Working alongside Jim for many years, I got to enjoy the dry wit that peppered his conversations and debates," Beebe said. "It was a disarming trait that left smiles on the faces of friends and adversaries alike."

Hill, who also served in the Arkansas House from 1993 to 1996, served at times as the chairman of the Senate Efficiency Committee and the Revenue and Taxation Committee, according to a biography posted on the website of his alma mater, Henderson State University.

Hill also served as the chairman of the Arkansas Beef Council and the president of the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association.

He also spent seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which was one way Hill's "life was dedicated to service," Beebe noted.

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