03/29/2013 04:29 EDT | Updated 03/29/2013 09:11 EDT

Ralph Klein Dead: Defining Moments In The Life Of The Iconic Former Premier (PHOTOS)

After a short battle with a form of dementia and lung disease, Ralph Klein passed away on Friday, at the age of 70.

As news of Ralph Klein's worsening illness spread earlier this month, tributes poured in for the iconic leader. Politicians in Alberta, and from across Canada, paid tribute to the man who served the province for more than 20 years.

Before his death, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said, "to me he'll always be the mayor who is best identified with this city."

In Edmonton earlier, Premier Alison Redford told reporters that Klein was a "great man," who "redefined this province."

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Photo gallery Ralph Klein's Defining Moments See Gallery

For the last 20 years, Klein did define Alberta and he did so by suggesting that when faced with an animal infected with mad cow disease, a good Alberta rancher should "shoot, shovel and shut up."

He also helped define the province by eliminating its debt, by giving out Ralph bucks and by reaching unfathomable heights of popularity.

These are some of the moments that solidified King Ralph in the minds of Albertans, and Canadians at large, and that defined him and his career from his entrance into politics, on through to his eventual retirement.

These are Ralph Klein's most defining, famous, infamous, and province-shaping moments.