James “Jim” Wilfong was born on May 8, 1947 in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. As a child, the family moved to Stowe, Maine to farm. His parents were Finley and Ida Susan (Hosmer) Wilfong. After a one-room, eight-grade school, he skipped seventh through ninth grades and went to Fryeburg Academy. He attended the University of New Hampshire for one year, studying forestry, then joined the Army. He was elected to the Maine legislature in 1974. Intermittently working for the legislature and the Atomic Ski Company at the same time, he decided to devote himself to politics and the economy. As a Maine legislator, he fought hard for environmental issues surrounding the state. He would later work on Ed Muskie’s Senate campaign and also a number of other projects related to the Democratic Party. His political career took him to Washington, D.C. working for the Clinton Administration within the State Department. He was influential in the success of numerous bi-national commissions between the United States and countries such as Russia, and worked with the World Trade Organization.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Wilfong, James oral history interview" (2003). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 410.