John E. “Jeb” Byrne was born January 15, 1925 in New York City. He went to public schools in Larchmont, New York, attended Iona Prep School, and then served in World War II for two years. Byrne graduated in 1949 from Marquette University College of Journalism on the GI Bill. Both of his parents were Democrats and politically active. Byrne became the Editor of Iona News, which he did for two years, then started a daily Catholic newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri in 1950 called the Sun Herald. He also worked for UPI. Byrne moved to Maine in 1951 to run a one-man UPI bureau. He was Governor Clint Clauson’s press secretary in 1958.
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Nicoll, Don, "Byrne, John E. "Jeb" oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 64.