Donald R. Larrabee was born in Portland, Maine on August 8, 1923 and grew up there. His parents were Henry C. and Marion Larrabee. He attended Syracuse University, and joined the Army Air Corps during World War II. He moved to Washington where he became associated with The Griffin News Bureau, the news bureau where he spent his entire career and that he eventually owned. The bureau covered all the news in Washington and news specific to Maine. He later left the news bureau to work for Governor Longley and subsequent governors.
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Nicoll, Don, "Larrabee, Don oral history interview" (1999). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 205.