A former Midwestern insurance regulator suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday while in LaGuardia Airport in New York.[@@]

The former commissioner, Frank Fitzgerald, was only 49.

Fitzgerald represented Eaton County, Mich., in the Michigan Assembly from 1987 to 1999. From 2000 to early 2003, he was Michigan’s commissioner of financial and insurance services. He was the official to hold that title.

Since February 2003, Fitzgerald has been a partner in the Lansing, Mich., office of Clark Hill P.L.C.

Fitzgerald is survived by his wife, Ruth; a daughter, Ellen; and a son, John.

Michigan’s current financial and insurance services commissioner, Linda Watters, issued a statement calling Fitzgerald’s death a tragedy.

Fitzgerald “served with distinction for many years in the Legislature and was an energetic and capable leader as the first commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services,” Watters says in the statement. “He will truly be missed by all who knew him, and the state of Michigan today has lost a great man.”