Edmund Muskie

Muskie portrait, The Maine State Museum; Maine State Archives

Birth Name: Edmund Sixtus Muskie

Date of Birth: March 28, 1914

Place of Birth: Rumford, Oxford, Maine, United States

Date of Death: March 26, 1996

Place of Death: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Ethnicity: Polish

Edmund Muskie, also known as Ed Muskie, was an American statesman, reformer, politician, author, and academic. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 64th Governor of Maine, from January 5, 1955 to January 2, 1959, a U.S. Senator from Maine, from January 3, 1959 to May 7, 1980, and the 58th U.S. Secretary of State, from May 8, 1980 to January 20, 1981.

He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1968. He was also a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1972.

Edmund was the son of Josephine (Czarnecki/Cznaranecka) and Stephen Marcuszewski/Marciszewski/Muskie. His father was a Polish immigrant. His mother was born in New York, to Polish parents.

He was married to Jane Gray, with whom he had five children.

Edmund’s paternal grandfather was named Wincenty Marciszewski.

Edmund’s paternal grandmother was named Emilia Barszczewska.

Edmund’s maternal grandfather was named Teodor/Theodore Czarnecki.

Edmund’s maternal grandmother was named Antonina/Antoinette Tryjankowski/Tryjankawski.

Edmund was one of four people of significant Slavic ancestry to win a major American party’s Presidential caucus and/or primary. He won 4 states in 1972. The other three people are:
*Harold Stassen (Republican; in 1944, he won 1 state, Nebraska; in 1948, he won 4 states; in 1952, he won 1 state, Minnesota; Stassen also sought the 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 Republican nominations; Stassen’s paternal grandmother was Czech)
*Tom Harkin (1992; Democratic; won 1 state, Iowa; Harkin’s mother was of Slovene descent)
*John Kasich (Republican; ran in 2000 and 2016: in 2016, he won 1 state, Ohio; Kasich is of Czech or Rusyn, and Croatian descent)

Other people of significant Slavic ancestry who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*George H. Bender (who sought the 1960 Republican nomination; Bender was of Czech descent)
*James Traficant (who sought the 1988 Democratic nomination; Traficant’s mother was of Slovak descent)
*Dennis Kucinich (who sought the 2004 and 2008 Democratic nominations; Kucinich’s father was of Croatian descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s mother was of Ukrainian descent)
*Tim Pawlenty (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Pawlenty’s father was of Polish descent)
*Amy Klobuchar (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Klobuchar’s father was of Slovene descent)
*Joe Sestak (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Sestak’s father was of Slovak descent)
*Perry Johnson (who sought the 2024 Republican nomination; Johnson’s mother was of Rusyn and Slovak descent)

Sources: Genealogy of Edmund Muskie – https://www.geni.com

Edmund Muskie on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

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