In this Friday, Nov. 20, 1998 file photo, former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers announces that the state will join in on a national $206 billion tobacco settlement. Myers passed away from complications of pneumonia.

In this Friday, Nov. 20, 1998 file photo, former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers announces that the state will join in on a national $206 billion tobacco settlement. Myers passed away from complications of pneumonia.

Don Ryan/AP

Oregon’s former attorney general, Hardy Myers died Tuesday night. He was 77.

A lawyer who became a politician in the state Legislature in his 30s, Myers was then elected state attorney general three times.

He’ll be remembered for the settlement with big tobacco, which is still yielding the state millions of dollars in annual payments.

He was also a powerful advocate of Oregon’s ‘Death With Dignity’ law, which he championed in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. And he also became a national leader in school safety policy following the 1998 Thurston High School shooting.

Notes of praise and condolence poured in, including from Oregon’s governor and its Senate president, after word spread that Myers had died Tuesday night.

Friend and former speech writer, Kristen Grainger, remembers Myers as having both an amazing legal mind and great integrity.

“He had a terrific sense of humor. But he would constantly assert that he was not funny. Even though he was terribly funny,” she said. “He would say, ‘now remember, don’t be funny, I can’t be funny.’”

According to his family, Myers died from complications of pneumonia. He also had lung cancer.

Myers is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, and their children and grandchildren.