Wilson L. Condon, a former Alaska attorney general and Department of Revenue commissioner, died Sunday, Dec. 27, at the Anchorage Pioneer Home. He was 76.
In public and private practice, Condon was closely involved in the most important oil and gas issues facing Alaska over the past 35 years. His central legal achievement was leading the Amerada Hess royalty litigation against oil and gas producers. Facing determined legal and political opposition, Condon helped win $1 billion for the state and set the rules for Alaska to get a fair share for its royalty oil.
Personally, Condon may have been most proud of coaching the 1968 Stanford University crew team to victory.
He died after several years battling the effects of Lewy Body Dementia.
A celebration of life will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Egan Convention Center.
After working from 1971-1980 as an assistant attorney general and then deputy attorney general for the Department of Law, Condon was named attorney general by Gov. Jay Hammond, serving in that position from 1980-1982. He was Department of Revenue commissioner under Gov. Tony Knowles from 1995-2002, and then continued his public service under Gov. Frank Murkowski, heading the oil and gas section at the Department of Law from 2003-2005.
In between the departments of Law and Revenue, he was a partner in Anchorage law firms where he led the state’s complex royalty litigation against North Slope oil and gas producers. Alaska had accused the companies of underpaying royalties to the state. The case settled after more than 15 years of legal battles, with the last settlement agreement signed in 1995.
Condon was born Sept. 28, 1939, in Livingston, Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park, where his father worked for the National Park Service. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and in 1963 earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He went on to receive his law degree from Stanford in 1971. In between degrees, he served as assistant director of student financial aid at Stanford from 1965-1968.
Condon was a founding member of the Stanford Environmental Law Society. While there, he served as a member of the Stanford University Crew Board and coached Stanford’s freshman and varsity crews from 1961-1970.
Condon served as chairman for the Alaska Governor’s Commission on the Administration of Justice from 1980-1982; was on the Governor’s Alaska Gas Pipeline Task Force from 1980-1981; was a member of the Alaska Code Revision Commission from 1983-1991; served on the board of trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. from 1980-1982 and again from 1995-2002; and served on multiple state boards and commissions during his tenure at the Department of Revenue.
After leaving state service, he worked at the Anchorage office of K&L Gates from 2005-2011, continuing to assist with oil and gas cases on behalf of the state.
Condon is survived by his wife of 41 years, M. Susan, of Anchorage. The couple lived in Juneau and Anchorage during his tenure with the state. He also is survived by his sister Marianne (Dennis) Donnelly of Pocatello, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his father, David, and mother, Lorna.
Wilson Condon was a longtime supporter of several nonprofit organizations in Alaska, including the Anchorage Youth Court, KSKA public radio, United Way and the Gastineau Humane Society in Juneau.
In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make donations to the Anchorage Youth Court, PO Box 100359, Anchorage, AK 99510 (anchorageyouthcourt.org/donate.html) or to the Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main St., Exeter, NH 03833-2460.