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George Mitchell

George Mitchell in Tel Aviv July 26, 2009.jpg
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
May 17, 1980 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Edmund Muskie
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1995
Deputy Alan Cranston (1989-1991)
Wendell H. Ford (1991-1995)
Preceded by Robert Byrd
Succeeded by Bob Dole
2nd Deputy President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1989
President John C. Stennis
Leader Robert Byrd
Preceded by Hubert Humphrey (1978)
Succeeded by Vacant
United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
In office
January 22, 2009 – May 13, 2011
Preceded by None
Succeeded by David Hale
U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Richard N. Haass
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
In office
October 5, 1979 – May 16, 1980
Nominated by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Conrad Keefe Cyr
Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast
In office
Preceded by Sir David Orr
Succeeded by Kamalesh Sharma
Personal details
George John Mitchell, Jr.

August 20, 1933 (1933-08-20) (age 87)
Waterville, Maine, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Sally Heath
(m. 1961; div. 1987)

Heather MacLachlan (m. 1994)
Children 3
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Georgetown University Law Center
Profession Lawyer
Military service
Branch/service United States Army Counterintelligence Corps
Years of service 1954-1956
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant

George John Mitchell Jr. GBE (born August 20, 1933) is an American lawyer, businessman and politician. He is a Democrat. Mitchell served as a United States Senator from Maine from 1980 to 1995 and as Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995.

Early life

Mitchell was born in Waterville, Maine. His father, George John Mitchell, Sr. (born Joseph Kilroy), was of ethnic Irish descent but was adopted by a Lebanese family when he was orphaned.

Political career

In 1980, he was elected to the United States Senate. He became Senate Majority Leader in 1989. He briefly was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine from 1979 to 1980.

Since retiring from the Senate in 1995, he had a key role in peace talks in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. He appointed United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995–2001) by President Clinton and as United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009–2011) by President Barack Obama.

He was a primary architect of the 1996 Mitchell Principles and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, and was the main investigator in two "Mitchell Reports", one on the Arab–Israeli conflict (2001) and one on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball (2007).

Post Senate career

Mitchell was chairman of The Walt Disney Company from March 2004 until January 2007, and later as chairman of the international law firm DLA Piper. He was the Chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 1999 to 2009.

Mitchell also was a co-chair of the Housing Commission at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

In 2015, unsealed court documents showed Mitchell's possible involvement with the Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking ring.


Mitchell was diagnosed with a "small, low grade, and localized" prostate cancer in 2007.

In August 2020, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

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