Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 302


Walter A. Scheiber was born January 1922 in New York City, New York to Augusta Abramson Scheiber and Israel Ben Scheiber. His father was a lawyer from 1914 to 1946, then became a law arbitrator until 1985. His mother was a concert pianist, and he had two younger sisters, Jodie and Sarah. He attended private school from age four to fourteen, and then the High School of Music and Art, which is now named LaGuardia High School. He went to Swarthmore College for three years until joining the Army during World War II. After, the G.I. Bill allowed him to enroll at Columbia Law School, where he earned his law degree in 1947. He then married Barbara (Gair) Scheiber and moved to Pennsylvania to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphi, earning a master’s degree in political science and focusing on city management. His career began as city manager for Grove City, Pennsylvania and eventually moved on to bigger communities like Rockville, Maryland. Later, he became director of the Council of Governments for the District of Columbia, a position he held for 25 years.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Scheiber family and educational background; relationship between the Scheibers and the Nicolls; Section 701G and Don Nicoll’s legislative role; role of the Council of Governments; Scheiber’s introduction to Senator Muskie; Scheiber’s, and his organization’s, role in the Clean Air and Water Acts and the Safe Street; Section 701-G’s role in educating young African Americans in city managing; Mark Keane; and Model Cities.

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.