Muskie (1914-1996) was Governor
of the state of Maine
, a United States
Senator for Maine, and the Democratic Party
's candidate for Vice President
in 1968. He also served as Secretary of State
under President Jimmy Carter
. He was known as "Mr. Clean
" for his efforts to pass legislature favorable to the environment.
Muskie was born March 28, 1914 in Rumford, Maine. He was an excellent student and graduated from Bates College with honors. He received his law degree from Cornell University. He practiced law until the middle of World War II. In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy.
Returning to civilian life, Muskie was elected for his first term in the Maine House of Representatives in 1946. He sought and won re-election in 1948 and 1950. This was quite an accomplishment for a Democrat in such a Republican-dominated state. He followed this success with election as Governor in 1954. He served two terms as Maine's governor. In 1958, he was chosen to serve as one of Maine's Senators.
Muskie's senate career spanned 22 years. He was involved mostly with environmental protection and foreign affairs during this time. In 1968, he was chosen to be Hubert Humphrey's running mate for the presidency. Humphrey and Muskie lost to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
For the next election, he was originally considered to be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and he even won the New Hampshire primary. However, he wept in front of a crowd during a speech in which he addressed a slanderous story about his wife and mother of his five children, Jane Gray. This discredited him and he lost the nomination to George McGovern.
Muskie also served as the Secretary of State under the administration of Jimmy Carter. He became Secretary of State in May of 1980, but only served until January of 1981. After this, Muskie formally retired from politics but was a part of a few political groups, especially the President's special review board that investigated the Iran-Contra affair. Muskie passed away on March 26, 1996.