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Edmund Sixtus Muskie

Senator, Vice-Presidential Candidate, Secretary of State

Edmund Muskie

Biographical Data

Born in Rumford, Maine, on March 28, 1914.

Married Jane Frances Gray on May 29, 1948.
Children: Stephen, Ellen, Melinda, Martha, Edmund S. Jr.

Died in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1996.
Interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


Attended public schools in Rumford.
Graduated from Bates College (as class president and member of Phi Beta Kappa) in 1936 with degrees in both history and government.
Graduated cum laude from Cornell University Law School in 1939.

Military Service

Served on U.S. Navy destroyer escorts in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters during World War II.
Left the service as a Lieutenant in 1946.


Admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1939, and to the Maine Bar in 1940.
Practiced law in Waterville, Maine, until beginning political career.

Member and secretary of the Waterville Board of Zoning Adjustment, 1948-1955.
District Director for the Maine Office of Price Stabilization, 1951-1952.
City Solicitor for Waterville, 1954.

Elected to the Maine House of Representatives, 1946, 1948, and 1950.
Democratic Floor Leader, 1949-1951.

Governor of Maine, 1955-1959.

Elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate, 1958, 1964, 1970, 1976;served January 3, 1959 to May 7, 1980.
Chairman of the Committee on the Budget, 93rd through 96th Congresses.

Unsuccessful candidate for Vice-President, with Hubert Humphrey, in 1968.
Unsuccessful candidate for Democratic presidential nomination in 1972.

Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Jimmy Carter, May 8, 1980-January 18, 1981.
Conducted the first high-level meeting with the Soviet government after its December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

Resumed practice of law, in Washington, D.C., after Carter's term ended.

Served on the "Tower Commission," which investigated the "Iran-Contra Affair," in 1987.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
New York Times
U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian

See Also

World War II
Hubert Humphrey
1972 Presidential Election
President Jimmy Carter

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The Robinson Library >> United States >> Late 20th Century > Biography, A-Z

This page was last updated on January 06, 2019.