Bowdoin College, Friends, Hampden (Me.), Legal career, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Smith, Margaret Chase, U.S. Senate appointment (1980), U.S. Senate campaign (1958), U.S. Senate campaign (1982)
Merton G. “Mert” Henry was born on February 4, 1926, in Hampden, Maine. He lived there with his parents and helped out at his grandfather’s general store while growing up. He moved to South Portland just before starting high school. He deferred attending Bowdoin College until 1946 in order to serve in the Army, which sent him to the Philippines. He majored in history at Bowdoin and was graduated in the class of 1950. He also earned a law degree from Georgetown Law while working on a military history project at the Pentagon during the Korean War. A long-time leader in the Maine Republican Party, he worked for Senator Fredreick G. Payne of Maine and ran his unsuccessful 1958 reelection campaign, losing to Ed Muskie. Since then he has worked at the same law firm, currently under the name of Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry, in Portland, Maine, where he worked with George Mitchell for twelve years between 1965 and 1977.
Interview includes discussion of: the Hampden, Maine community; Armed Services; Bowdoin College and law school in Washington D.C; involvement in Senator Frederick Payne’s campaigns, and Senator Margaret Chase Smith’s campaigns; meeting George Mitchell at Jenson Baird law firm; Mitchell’s campaign for governor in 1974; professional and personal relationship between Henry and Mitchell; advice to Mitchell about accepting his Senate appointment; U.S. Senate campaign (1982); Mitchell’s success as a senator; and changes in politics and campaigning.
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