ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former New York environmental commissioner Henry Diamond, the original head of the nation's first state environmental protection department, has died. He was 83.

According to Beveridge and Diamond, the Washington, D.C., environmental law firm he co-founded, Diamond died Sunday at a Washington hospital. A cause of death wasn't given.

In 1970, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller named Diamond the commissioner of the newly created Department of Environmental Conservation. Two years later, he led a 533-mile statewide bicycle tour to support passage of the Environmental Bond Act.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native served as DEC commissioner until 1973. In a statement released Tuesday, the agency referred to Diamond as "a pioneer and steadfast champion for the environment."

The law firm says Wednesday his family is planning to hold a memorial service. Details haven't been released.

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