James D. Ewing was born January 14, 1917 in St. Louis, Missouri to Helen (Dennis) and Oscar Ross Ewing. His father was a prominent New York lawyer and was head of the Federal Security Administration and vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee. James grew up in the New York City suburb Fieldston/Riverdale, New York. He attended prep school at Hotchkiss, college at Princeton class of 1938, and one year of law school at Harvard. He then taught Latin and Greek for two years. During WWII, he worked for the National War Labor Board, and in the Navy doing labor relations work. Around 1946, he bought and ran the newspaper Bangor Commercial, along with his wife and a business partner, Russell Peters. They ceased publication early in 1954. During the 1952 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Maine, the Bangor Commercial, headed by Jim Ewing, was the only newspaper to oppose Ralph Owen Brewster, which Brewster later claimed was a significant cause for his defeat. After closing his Bangor paper, he moved on to Keene, New Hampshire to own and operate the Keene Sentinel. He operated that paper until 1993. Mr. Ewing died on January 21, 2002 at the age of 85. See the University of Maine, Orono library for papers on both James Ewing and Ralph O. Brewster.
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Richard, Mike, "Ewing, James D. oral history interview" (1999). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 130.