Former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller died on Friday at age of 79.

Miller, a lawmaker from Brooklyn, served in the Assembly for 21 years, including his five final years in office as its speaker.

“During his time in the Assembly, he fought so every person in our state would be counted – both by exercising their right to vote, and being counted by the census,” Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement.

Heastie pointed to Miller’s support for education and community colleges, as well as support for gun control legislation.

“He created the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise to promote equality of economic opportunities. Mel fought to get New York’s students a quality education, including major increases in state aid to education and community colleges, and helped modernize the New York City school system. He championed toxic tort legislation to allow victims of diseases caused by exposure to chemicals the ability to seek damages. Under Mel’s leadership, the Assembly was the first legislative body in the nation to debate an assault weapons ban,” Heastie said.

Miller was convicted of fraud in 1991 and left politics. The conviction was later overturned on appeal.