Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 329


John Menario was born September 18, 1935 in Portland, Maine to Gladys (Thomas) and Michael Menario. The family moved to Falmouth, and he was educated in the Falmouth public schools from grade 7 through 12. He served in the military toward the end of the Korean War, and returned to Maine to study Public Management at the University of Maine in Orono. He earned his Master’s degree from the Fels Institute of Government of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1962, he became the assistant to the city manager of Portland, which eventually became the Assistant City Manager position. He later became finance director of Portland, and in 1966, City Manager of Portland, a position he held for nine years. As city manager, he became involved in the Model Cities project. After leaving Portland City Hall, he worked for the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, and strengthened membership that had reached an all time low prior to his tenure. He then started a governmental consulting firm. He led the successful campaigns to Save Maine Yankee in 1980 and 1982, and unsuccessfully ran for governor as an Independent in 1986. At the time of this interview, he was a vice president and CEO of Peoples Heritage Bank in Portland.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Baldacci family; Portland in the 1960s; Portland urban renewal programs; Model Cities; key people involved in Portland’s urban renewal; Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce; 1986 gubernatorial race; “Save Maine Yankee” campaign; Charlie Allen; Harold Loring; Barney Shur; Widgery Thomas; and Edmund S. Muskie.

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.