Edmund Muskie

U.S. Senator / U.S. Secretary of State

Born: 28 March 1914
Died: 26 March 1996 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Rumford, Maine
Best known as:

U.S. Senator from Maine, 1959-80

Name at birth: Edmund Sixtus Muskie

 

A former governor of Maine, Edmund Muskie was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958 and served until 1980. Edmund Muskie grew up in Maine, graduated from Bates College in 1936, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942. He was discharged in 1945, at the end of World War II, and the next year was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. He served two terms as the state's governor (1955-59) and then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958. In the presidential election of 1968 he was the vice-presidential candidate for the Democrats (under Hubert Humphrey), and in 1972 he ran for the Democratic nomination for president against the Republican incumbent, Richard Nixon. He withdrew from the 1972 race early on, not long after news reports said that he had wept while defending his wife from attacks in The Manchester Union Leader. He resigned from the Senate in 1980 to serve as Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1980-81.

Extra credit:

Edmund Muskie was 6'4" tall... His (alleged) tears in 1972 became a famous political moment; Muskie himself denied he had cried, saying the moisture was "melting snowflakes"... Edmund Muskie married the former Jane Gray in 1948. They had five children: Stephen (born 1949), Ellen (b. 1950), Melinda (b. 1956), Martha (b. 1958), and Edmund Jr. (b. 1961).

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