Eliot Raphael Cutler was born in 1946 in Bangor, Maine. His father was a physician and his mother was an economist. His father was responsible for the reorganization of the Maine university system; the Cutler Health Center in Orono, Maine is named in his honor. As a sophomore in high school, Cutler transferred from Bangor High School to Deerfield Academy. He attended Harvard University and Georgetown Law School. While at Harvard he was involved with the Harvard Lampoon. He worked as a legislative assistant and clerk for Muskie from 1967 to 1972, and was a senior staff person at the O.M.B. during the Carter administration. He is on the Board of Visitors of the Muskie School for Public Service at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. He is also a member of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Cutler, Eliot oral history interview" (2002). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 106.