George J. Mitchell was appointed to the
United States Senate in 1990 to complete the unexpired term of Senator Edmund
S. Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State. He was elected to a full
term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning come-from-behind victory. After
trailing in public opinion polls by 36 points, Senator Mitchell rallied to win
the election, receiving 61 percent of the votes cast. Senator Mitchell went on
to an illustrious career in the Senate spanning 14 years.
In 1988, he
was reelected with 81 percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history.
He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority Leader, a position he had
held since January 1989.
Senator Mitchell enjoyed bipartisan respect
during his tenure. It has been said, "there is not a man, woman or child in the
Capitol who does not trust George Mitchell." For six consecutive years he was
voted "the most respected member" of the Senate by a bipartisan group of senior
Recently, Senator Mitchell served, as Chairman of
the Peace Negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership an historic
accord, ending decades of conflict, was agreed by the governments of Ireland
and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. In May
1998, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the voters of Ireland, North
and South, in a referendum.
While in the Senate, Senator Mitchell served
on the Finance, Veterans Affairs, and Environment and Public Works
Senator Mitchell led the successful 1990 reauthorization of
the Clean Air Act, including new controls on acid rain toxins. He was the
author of the first national oil spill prevention and clean up
Mitchell led the Senate to passage of the nation's first child care
bill and was principal author of the low income housing tax credit
He was instrumental in the passage of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, landmark legislation extending civil rights protections to
Mitchell's efforts led to the passage of a higher education
bill that expanded opportunities for millions of Americans.
Mitchell was a leader in opening markets to trade and led the Senate to
ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement and creation of the
World Trade Organization.
Senator Mitchell received his undergraduate
degree from Bowdoin College in 1954, and then served In Berlin, Germany as an
officer in the U. S. Army Counter- Intelligence Corps until 1956. He received
an LLB from Georgetown University Law Center in 1960. From 1960 to 1962 he was
a trial lawyer in the Justice Department in Washington D, C. From 1962 to 1965
he served as Executive Assistant to Senator Muskie.
In 1965 be returned
to Maine where he engaged in the private practice of law in Portland until
1977. He was then appointed U.S. Attorney for Maine, a position he held until
1979, when he was appointed U, S, District Judge for Maine. He resigned that
position in 1980 to accept appointment to the U. S. Senate.
Mitchell is the author of four books. With his colleague, Senator Bill Cohen of
Maine he wrote Men of Zeal, describing the Iran-Contra investigation. In
1990, Senator Mitchell wrote, World on Fire, describing the threat of
the greenhouse effect and recommending steps to curb it.
His next book,
published in 1 997, was Not For America Alone: The Triumph of Democracy and
The Fall of Communism. In 1999, Senator Mitchell wrote Making Peace,
an account, of his experience in Northern Ireland.
Upon leaving the
Senate, Senator Mitchell joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Vener,
Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand. He serves as a Director of the Walt
Disney Company, Federal Express Corporation, Xerox Corporation, UNUM Insurance
Corporation, KTI Inc, Unilever, Staples, Inc. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Senator Mitchell serves as chairman of the International Crisis Group,
a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of crises in
international affairs and as President of The Economic Club of Washington. He
served as Chairman of the Special Commission investigating allegations of
impropriety in the bidding process for the Olympic games and as Chairman of the
National Health Care Commission.
At the request of the British and
Irish Governments he served as Chairman of the International Commission on
Disarmament in Northern Ireland, and as Chairman of the Peace Negotiations in
Northern Ireland. For his service in Northern Ireland Senator Mitchell has
received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, the highest civilian honor that the U. S. Government can give; the
Philadelphia Liberty Medal; the Truman Institute Peace Prize; and the German