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Edmund Sixtus Muskie

Muskie, Edmund Sixtus, 1914–96, U.S. Senator (1959–80), b. Rumford, Maine. A lawyer, he sat (1947–51) in the Maine legislature after serving in the navy in World War II. He later became (1955) Maine's first Democratic governor in 20 years and (1958) its first popularly elected U.S. Senator. He was reelected in 1964, 1970, and 1976. During his career in the Senate, Muskie was a strong advocate of environmental protection and also served as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. In 1968, Muskie was the Democratic candidate for Vice President, sharing the ticket with Hubert Humphrey. The Democrats lost the election, but Muskie emerged as a leading contender for the 1972 Democratic nomination for President, to run against the incumbent, Richard M. Nixon. He ran in a number of primaries, but his candidacy foundered and he lost the nomination to George McGovern. At the 1973 Senate hearings on the Watergate affair, evidence was offered that his campaign had been sabotaged by the Republican Committee to Reelect the President. Muskie later served as Secretary of State under President Carter (1980–81).

See study by D. Nevin (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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