Jere Clifford was born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1927. Clifford’s maternal grandfather was the District Attorney of Suffolk County, Massachusetts who prosecuted John Fitzgerald, John F. Kennedy’s grandfather. Clifford’s paternal grandfather built Lewiston City Hall and Bangor City Hall. Clifford attended Pettengill, Wallace, Frye, and Jordan schools and then Lewiston High School. He began the V-12 Naval Officer training school at Bates, then attended Tufts University and Boston University Law School. He did his internship in Washington D.C., and later practiced law with his father in Lewiston. He served as an alderman in 1952 and on the Lewiston Development Corporation and Corporation Council of Lewiston. He is married with two daughters and one adopted son.
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Burnham-Bestor, Marisa, "Clifford, Jere oral history interview" (1999). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 86.