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John Reed
United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives
In office
February 22, 1982 – September 3, 1985
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byDonald Toussaint
Succeeded byJames Spain
In office
August 23, 1976 – June 1, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford, Jimmy Carter
Preceded byChris Van Hollen
Succeeded byHoward Wriggins
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
July 25, 1965 – July 4, 1966
Preceded byGrant Sawyer
Succeeded byWilliam Guy
67th Governor of Maine
In office
December 30, 1959 – January 5, 1967
Preceded byClinton Clauson
Succeeded byKenneth Curtis
Personal details
Born(1921-01-05)January 5, 1921
Fort Fairfield, Maine, U.S.
DiedOctober 31, 2012(2012-10-31) (aged 91)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Cora Davison
EducationUniversity of Maine, Orono (BA)

John Hathaway Reed (January 5, 1921 – October 31, 2012) was the 67th Governor of Maine, holding office during the 1960s. He was once an Aroostook County potato farmer. Reed was a Republican who took office following the death of Governor Clinton Clauson.

Life and career

Reed was born in Fort Fairfield, Maine, in 1921. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1942. He served in the United States Navy in World War II, first graduating from Harvard's Navy Supply Corps School in 1944.[1]

After coming home, he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1954. He served one term before being elected to the Maine Senate. At the start of his second senate term, he was elected Senate President, an office which in Maine is first in line for the governorship. Upon Clauson's death, Reed became governor and was the fourth Governor Maine had in 1959, after Clauson, Robert Haskell, and Edmund Muskie. He was then elected over Democrat Frank M. Coffin to finish Clauson's term in 1960. He was narrowly reelected over Democrat Maynard C. Dolloff in 1962 to serve Maine's first 4-year term as governor.[2] In 1966, he was defeated by Democrat Ken Curtis.

Reed was a strong supporter of the Vietnam War and was close to President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, who appointed him to the National Transportation Safety Board in 1966. After serving in that post, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon, a Republican, US ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (shared country accreditation by ambassador[3]). Reed was appointed ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives a second time by President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, in 1981.

Reed lived in Washington, D.C., after his retirement.[4] He died there on October 31, 2012.[1][5]

Marriage and children

On March 24, 1944, Reed married Cora Mitchell Davison at the Newport Naval Chapel. Cora Davison was born on August 13, 1920, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to John A. Davison and Ruth Hoitt.

Cora Davison was a graduate of Haverhill High School in 1938 and from the former McIntosh School of Business in Lawrence, in 1940. She worked as a secretary in the office of the Clarence Walker Shoe Factory in Haverhill prior to moving with her family to Newport, where she took a position as executive secretary to the commanding officer of the Newport Naval Supply Depot, during World War II. Here she met her future husband.

John and Cora had two daughters and three grandchildren:

  • Cheryl Reed
  • Ruth Ann Reed, married to Jerry Duford
    • Reed Duford
    • Drew Duford
    • Curt Duford

His wife Cora died on November 7, 2004, at Washington Home and Hospice Center after a long illness.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Former Maine Gov. John Reed dead at 91", Bangor Daily News, November 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "Maine Governor John Hathaway Reed", National Governors Association website. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  3. ^ "History of Diplomatic Relations", State Department history webpage. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  4. ^ "Maine native, a former envoy, praises Bush aid commitment", Portland Press Herald (Portland, Me.), Dec 30, 2004. pg. A.1.
  5. ^ Wasshington Post Obituaries
  6. ^ Obituaries CORA DAVISON REED
Political offices
Preceded by
Clinton Clauson
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Kenneth Curtis
Preceded by
Grant Sawyer
Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
William Guy
Party political offices
Preceded by
Horace Hildreth
Republican nominee for Governor of Maine
1960, 1962, 1966
Succeeded by
James Erwin
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Chris Van Hollen
Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Succeeded by
Howard Wriggins
Preceded by
Donald Toussaint
Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Succeeded by
James Spain
This page was last edited on 22 April 2020, at 00:18
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