Paul Harland Mills was born in Farmington, Maine to Katherine (Coffin) Mills and S. Peter Mills, II. In 1953, he moved to Gorham with his family so his father could take a position as U.S. Attorney. He returned to Farmington at the age of ten, and continued his schooling in the Farmington public schools. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970. He attended Harvard for his undergraduate education, then the University of Maine School of Law. In high school, he worked for a Farmington radio station and at Harvard, worked for three radio stations. When he returned to Maine, he worked at WGAN in Portland writing feature stories and news copy. He also hosted a political talk radio show on WLOB. Mills returned to Farmington in 1977 to practice law with his father. In the late 1980s, he joined WGME TV in Portland as a guest political commentator. He has also written monthly columns for the Lewiston Sunday Journal.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Mills, Paul oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 270.