Leon Leonwood Bean
You probably know him as L.L. Bean or the guy who invented the flannel shirt. Thank you, Leon. Without you, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson would have nothing to wear.
I played softball with his son once. True story.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You pretty much can’t go anywhere in Portland, Maine without running into a memorial to Henry. He is most famous for his poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
You know that super serious part of ‘Law and Order’ where the voiceover man says, “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.” That part would not be nearly as serious without Portland’s own Steven Zirnkilton.
You knew him as “one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art.” Now you know him as a Maine native with an affinity for crazy moustaches.
Oh that’s right McSteamy (or is it McDreamy? I can never remember) fans. This little hotplate hails from Lewiston, Maine! He recently donated a whole bunch of money to the hospital in Lewiston, in honor of his mother. So, yeah, we raise our boys right.
Charlotte’s Web is totally based in Maine! Well, no, not really. But good old Elwyn Brooks made his home in North Brooklin.
David E. Kelley
There could be no Ally McBeal viewing parties without Waterville’s David E. Kelley (You’re welcome, Michelle Pfeiffer).
This Springvale, Maine native was the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga!
Remember when you took that summer in between sophomore and junior year to hike the Appalachian Trail and “find yourself?” Well you’d still be wandering out in the wilderness without the contributions of Myron Avery, creator of the Appalachian Trail!
William Cohen served as the Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton (sigh, Bill Clinton). He also married a lovely black lady and they wrote a book about their relationship. Love is love, people.
Joan Benoit Samuelson
SHE IS FROM MY HOMETOWN OF CAPE ELIZABETH!! She grew up in the house next to mine! She also was the first woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the marathon. The *first.* Think on that, Phelps.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. “She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs.” Her poem, Exiled, is a personal favorite.
George J. Mitchell
George has a political resume longer than just about anyone. He currently serves as the American special envoy to the Middle East. He also did work for Disney!
She was the first woman to be elected to both the U.S. House and the Senate, the first woman to be nominated for the U.S. Presidency and holds the record as the longest-serving female senator history. Madge hailed from Skowhegan, Maine, a town with the distinction of being nearly impossible to pronounce properly.
And now we come to Olympia. She did the state proud this week with her vote on the health care bill. If she supports a public option I might bump her up a bit on my next list.
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