ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Senate president Jim Metzen has died at age 72.

Metzen's legislative assistant Isaac Russell said Tuesday the senator passed away from cancer on Monday. The Democratic senator represented South St. Paul in the Legislature for more than four decades and retired in May. Metzen had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer since last year.

He was first elected to the House in 1974 and the Senate in 1986. He served as Senate president from 2003 to 2011.

Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday remembered Metzen as a "great DFL leader and wonderful human being."

Metzen was a former banker who said he tried to form friendships and alliances with Republicans as well as Democrats.

More From KROC-AM