Sanford D. Greenberg was born on December 13, 1940 in Buffalo, New York where he lived for seventeen years. His father was a Polish immigrant who worked as a tailor, and his mother worked at a variety of jobs (including in the home). He went to college at Columbia, where he majored in American History and then concentrated on international affairs for his graduate work at Harvard. When he was nineteen, he lost his eyesight and this inspired him to become an inventor. After graduate school, however, he accepted two jobs: one at Harvard where he was a research assistant at the Center for International Affairs, and one at Columbia, where he taught as an assistant professor in the department of law and government. He began Law School at Harvard but ended up leaving after one year to serve on the White House staff under President Johnson, as an assistant to the president’s science advisor. There, in 1968, he met Ed Muskie and became fast and very close friends. In 1972, he worked on Muskie’s presidential campaign. He remained close friends with Muskie in later years.
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Nicoll, Don, "Greenberg, Sanford D. "Sandy" oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 152.