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Margaret Chase Smith

Smith, Margaret Chase, 1897–1995, U.S. senator from Maine (1949–73), b. Skowhegan, Maine. She taught school briefly and then worked (1919–28) on the Skowhegan weekly newspaper. In 1930 she married Clyde Smith, the publisher of the paper, and upon his election as a U.S. representative served in Washington as his secretary, researcher, and office manager. Active in Republican party politics, she was elected after the death of her husband in 1940 to finish his unexpired term, becoming Maine's first congresswoman. She was reelected four times. Noted for her integrity and independence, she was elected U.S. senator in 1948 and reelected in 1954, 1960, and 1966. She was unexpectedly defeated in the 1972 election by her Democratic opponent.

See biography by J. Sherman (2000).

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

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