Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Mike Richard

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 143


James D. Ewing was born January 14, 1917 in St. Louis, Missouri to Helen (Dennis) and Oscar Ross Ewing. His father was a prominent New York lawyer and was head of the Federal Security Administration and vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee. James grew up in the New York City suburb Fieldston/Riverdale, New York. He attended prep school at Hotchkiss, college at Princeton class of 1938, and one year of law school at Harvard. He then taught Latin and Greek for two years. During WWII, he worked for the National War Labor Board, and in the Navy doing labor relations work. Around 1946, he bought and ran the newspaper Bangor Commercial, along with his wife and a business partner, Russell Peters. They ceased publication early in 1954. During the 1952 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Maine, the Bangor Commercial, headed by Jim Ewing, was the only newspaper to oppose Ralph Owen Brewster, which Brewster later claimed was a significant cause for his defeat. After closing his Bangor paper, he moved on to Keene, New Hampshire to own and operate the Keene Sentinel. He operated that paper until 1993. Mr. Ewing died on January 21, 2002 at the age of 85. See the University of Maine, Orono library for papers on both James Ewing and Ralph O. Brewster.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: family background; Bangor Commercial newspaper; economics of post-war newspaper business; Oscar Ewing; discussions with Oscar Ewing about the Truman administration; progressive Republicans in pre-Democrat Maine; Ralph Owen Brewster; opposing Brewster in the Bangor Commercial; Howard Hughes scandal; John Lindsay as a Bangor Commercial reporter; other Newspapermen in Maine pre-1954; developing Democratic Party; Bill Loeb’s political power in New Hampshire; Manchester Union Leader; Bill Loeb’s personality; development and history of New Hampshire party politics; election of Democrats as a turning point in Maine politics; comparison with Vermont; and discussion of moderate Maine politicians.

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.