HALIFAX -- A long-serving former member of the Nova Scotia legislature who racked up eight consecutive election victories has died.

Ron Russell was 92.

According to his obituary, Russell passed away Thursday at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

The New Zealand-born politician began his lengthy career in the Hants municipal council in Nova Scotia, but was elected to the provincial legislature as the Progressive Conservative member for West Hants in 1978.

He went on to win successive elections from 1981 to 2003 and was elected Speaker of the house an unprecedented three times, becoming the first minority-party member ever elected as Speaker.

Over 18 years in cabinet, Russell served as minister of various portfolios, including labour, health and transport as well as being deputy premier for then-premier John Hamm.

He stepped down as deputy premier at 80 due to bowel cancer.

Before entering politics, Russell was a pilot with the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot in 1950.

A memorial service will be held in Halifax on Thursday.