Marvin W. Ewing was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 4, 1935. His parents were Melinda and Harold Ewing. His mother was a housewife and later nurse, and his father was a telephone line worker. The family moved to New Jersey when he was young so his father could work in a defense plant. His father died in 1945, when Marvin was ten. In 1951 his family moved to Maine, where he graduated from Standish High School. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1954, and was honorably discharged in 1958. He moved back to New Jersey in 1960 to work for the Peter J. Schweizer Paper Co., and became a union organizer. In 1966, he returned to Maine and settled in Westbrook, working for the S.D. Warren Paper Co. He organized the paper workers in Westbrook, and became a union leader, serving seven years as president of the local union. He was instrumental in merging the Westbrook Paper Union into the AFL-CIO, and served as vice president of the Maine AFL-CIO for four years. He also unsuccessfully ran for president of the Maine AFL-CIO against Charles O’Leary. He left S.D. Warren in 1979, and worked in Maine state government at the Bureau of Labor Standards.
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Robitaille, Jeremy, "Ewing, Marvin W. oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 131.