John Menario was born September 18, 1935 in Portland, Maine to Gladys (Thomas) and Michael Menario. The family moved to Falmouth, and he was educated in the Falmouth public schools from grade 7 through 12. He served in the military toward the end of the Korean War, and returned to Maine to study Public Management at the University of Maine in Orono. He earned his Master’s degree from the Fels Institute of Government of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1962, he became the assistant to the city manager of Portland, which eventually became the Assistant City Manager position. He later became finance director of Portland, and in 1966, City Manager of Portland, a position he held for nine years. As city manager, he became involved in the Model Cities project. After leaving Portland City Hall, he worked for the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, and strengthened membership that had reached an all time low prior to his tenure. He then started a governmental consulting firm. He led the successful campaigns to Save Maine Yankee in 1980 and 1982, and unsuccessfully ran for governor as an Independent in 1986. At the time of this interview, he was a vice president and CEO of Peoples Heritage Bank in Portland.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Menario, John oral history interview" (2002). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 258.