Mary Ellen Johnson was born on August 22, 1948 in Bangor, Maine to Richard Albert Kiah and Madelin Frances (Jones) Kiah. Her mother’s father and uncle, Billy and Garfield Jones, were very active Democrats in the Millinocket area. Her mother involved her in local and national politics extensively during her childhood. Her father became active too, serving as mayor of Brewer at one time. She graduated from the University of Maine, Orono in 1970. At the time of this interview she was teaching.
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Nicoll, Don, "Johnson, Mary Ellen (Kiah) oral history interview" (2004). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 184.