Richard McGoldrick was born in Westwood, Massachusetts on November 2, 1941. His parents were Charles C. and Elizabeth P. McGoldrick. Charles was a salesman for Abbott Laboratories (manufacturer of drugs) and Elizabeth was a homemaker. Richard had seven brothers and sisters, and the family was Boston Irish Catholic. He attended public schools in Westwood, and graduated from Westwood High School in 1959. He graduated from Boston College in 1963 majoring in Economics, and then attended graduate school to study labor and industrial relations at University of Illinois in Champagne-Urbana. He was editor of the Journal of Business at Boston College, and a writer for the school newspaper. After graduate school, he became a beatnik traveling around the U.S. He spent a year working for the Teamster’s Union in Chicago and was drafted for the war in the fall of 1965. He went to Fort Dix and then was assigned to the Pentagon. He was discharged from the Army in November of 1968, and worked in Washington, D.C. for a few months before returning to New England to sell college textbooks in Maine and New Hampshire until 1972. He then worked for Portland Capital and Business Assistance Corporation, a small investment corporation set up by the Model Cities program.
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Robitaille, Jeremy, "McGoldrick, Richard "Dick" oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 247.