Frank Kelley, Michigan attorney general for 37 years, dies

DETROIT (AP) — Frank J. Kelley, affectionately dubbed the “eternal general,” has died at age 96.

Kelley earned his nickname for his 37 years as Michigan’s longest-serving attorney general. A Democrat, he served from 1961 to 1999, winning statewide election 10 times.

He moved to Naples, Florida, in 2020 and died Friday night.

Kelley was state government’s top lawyer at a time of sweeping change in politics and culture. He was credited with creating consumer and environmental protection divisions in the attorney general’s office and was a defender of civil rights.

Kelley, a Detroit native, was a lawyer in Alpena, a small town in northern Michigan, when Gov. John Swainson appointed him attorney general in 1961.