Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 288


Jack F. Dexter, Jr. was born July 21, 1943 in Hartford, Connecticut. He moved to Maine when he was eleven years old and lived in Portland, Saco, Cape Elizabeth, and then at the time of this interview, Edgecomb. He went to college at Westland in Connecticut and then to Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania for his graduate degree in city government. He got a grant between his sophomore and junior years of college that allowed him to study government in Portland, Maine and this introduced him to John Menario and his future employment with the city of Portland. He started as assistant city manager to Menario and moved on to run the Model Cities program, which he did for 18 months. From there, he went to work for the Portland Housing Authority for two and a half years. He then was hired to be the city administrator of Saco, Maine and he stayed there for four and a half years, before leaving city government. After working briefly as the president of the Maine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he went to work for the cable company Time (now Time-Warner-AOL). He later worked for A. G. Edwards, where he was employed at the time of this interview.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: educational background; Portland, Maine in the 1960s; John Menario; Portland West Advisory Council; Gerry Conley; Dexter family political background; Dexter’s experience running the Portland Housing Authority; Model Cities, Portland; Jadine O’Brien; Dexter’s challenges as the city administrator in Saco, Maine; Maine’s major political leaders; Dexter’s experience as a lobbyist; Maine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and a Model Cities anecdote.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.