Dora Ann Mills was born in 1960 and raised in Farmington, Maine. Her father, S. Peter Mills II, was a prominent figure in Maine politics and law, a state senator and then the state’s U.S. attorney in the early 1970s. Her mother, Kay Mills, taught at Mt. Blue High School for many years. Her brothers, S. Peter III and Paul, and her sister, Janet Mills, are all attorneys in Maine as well as politically active. The Mills’ family was very involved in state and national politics, and they knew Margaret Chase Smith well and met Edmund S. Muskie on several occasions. After graduating from high school, Mills went to Bowdoin College, and then on to medical school at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She worked in a missionary hospital in East Africa for a year and then did her internship and residency at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In 1992, she moved back to Farmington and practiced pediatrics there while working towards her master’s degree in public health. In 1996 she was appointed Maine’s chief medical officer and the director of the Bureau of Health.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Mills, Dora Ann oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 266.