Bennett Katz was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and grew up mostly in Boston. He was president of his high school class at Roxbury Memorial High School. His mother was Frances Wolk Katz. His father was Samuel Katz, a salesman for Rival Foods. Bennett Katz attended Tufts University as a commuter student while working fulltime. After graduating in 1940, he joined the Army Air Corps for five years as a military pilot. He married his childhood friend Edith Coombs during the war. After service, he joined American Overseas Airlines and after being laid off he spent the summer in Maine with his family. He moved to Maine because his wife’s family had two branches of the jewelry store Nicholson & Ryan. He joined the city council to represent his neighborhood, advocating for weekly trash pick-up. He ran for mayor, but lost to an independent Republican. He then ran for Maine Legislature and served in the House of Representatives. Finding it too large, he ran for the Senate and won. He served in the Maine Legislature for 17 years.
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Robitaille, Jeremy, "Katz, Bennett oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 190.