Bert Clifford was born in Troy, Maine and raised in Unity, Maine. His parents were Bert Warren and Mamie Izora Clifford. In his youth he worked as a farmhand and drove the local school bus. In the 1940s he enlisted in the Navy. Eventually he began investing in local companies including utilities and a railroad. He was also involved in local politics, which is where he encountered Senator Muskie. The two corresponded frequently. Clifford, a long-time Democrat, now oversees community projects and businesses, including Unity College.
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Beam, Greg, "Clifford, Bert G. oral history interview" (2000). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 85.