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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A former state senator from the North Carolina mountains who later became one of most prominent lobbyists at the Legislature has died.

A funeral home director in Raleigh confirmed Friday that Zeb Alley died Thursday at Rex Hospital at age 84. The director did not have the cause of death. Alley had been seen less frequently at this year's General Assembly session.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/11IrJsU ) Alley was a Waynesville attorney and Korean War veteran who served one Senate term in the early 1970s.

The Democrat became Gov. Jim Hunt's legislative liaison and a lobbyist representing several corporations before the General Assembly. A nonpartisan group ranked Alley the legislature's most influential lobbyist for eight consecutive legislative terms.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday.

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