Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 266


David E. Johnson was born July 20, 1947 to Evelyn Irene (Hale) and Frank Tivis Johnson in Hardtner Kansas. His father operated a grain elevator and died when David was two. His mother worked at a department store. He was raised in Enid Oklahoma, attending Enid High School, and excelling as a debater. He went on to the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a degree in journalism. He got involved in politics out of college, working for Ed Muskie’s Presidential campaign. He worked in Muskie’s 1972 “boiler room” and worked on his Intergovernmental Relations Committee from 1972 to 1978, and worked with Al From. He then worked for the Department of Health and Human Services, and as Administrative Assistant to George Mitchell from 1981 to 1984. He later became executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Since 1987, he has worked in a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: 1969-1972 presidential campaign; Wisconsin and Pennsylvania primaries; 1972 convention; 1976 senatorial campaign; 1980-1981 Secretary of State; Al From; Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee (IGR); low-income energy assistance; Sunset provisions; Muskie’s relationship with Maine as a Senator; George Mitchell; George Mitchell’s senate offices; Muskie and Mitchell comparisons; and Gayle Cory.

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.