Affiliated with the Democratic Party, this Maine-born politician served as Governor of his home state during the 1950s and as United States Secretary of State during one year of the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He also had a two-decade career as a United States Senator and was the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 1968.
After studying government and history at Bates College, he earned a law degree from Cornell University. Before beginning his political career, he served during World War II as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.
In late 1971, he was a top candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination; however, his primary campaign was soon eclipsed by that of South Dakota Senator George McGovern.
Born into a Roman Catholic family of Polish descent, he and his five siblings grew up in Rumford, Maine. His nearly eight-decade marriage to Jane Gray Muskie resulted in five children.
During the presidential race of 1968, he was the running mate of Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey.