Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 245


Lorelei (Williams) Ransome was born in Alexandria, Virginia on June 26, 1939, one of nine children. Her father was both a civil servant and a private worker and her mother generally worked in their home. She grew up in Alexandria and attended Parker Gray School. After high school, she spent five years working in a department store while attending the ABC Business School. She then worked as a secretary in the Department of Labor for five years, until she was hired by the Senator Muskie Campaign Staff. When the 1968 campaign ended, she was hired to work on the Senate staff. After the 1972 campaign, she worked on the Intergovernmental Relations subcommittee with Al From as his personal secretary, and went with him to the Carter White House. When Carter was not reelected for a second term, she was hired by Reginald Gillian, who was a commissioner at the Interstate Commerce Commission. She worked for him for seven years until Gillian went to work for Senator Gallant, with whom she worked briefly. Then she returned to the Interstate Commerce Commission to work with Commissioner Lamboli, and then for Commissioner Gail McDonald. She worked for McDonald for thirty years until she retired.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: segregation in Alexandria, Virginia; her employment at a department store; her time at the Department of Labor, being called “Laura Lee”; Muskie interview; her family; flying with Muskie as part of the campaign staff; other staff members; the defeated campaign; her legislation work; “dirty tricks” during the 1972 presidential campaign; Al From; Carter White House; her career after Muskie; Senator Muskie as a person and employer; and her experiences with racial discrimination in Washington, D.C.

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.