William Hathaway

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William Dodd “Bill” Hathaway
Former U.S. Senator from Maine
From: January 3, 1973 –January 3, 1979
Predecessor Margaret Chase Smith
Successor William Cohen
Former U.S. Representative from Maine's 2nd Congressional District
From: January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1973
Predecessor Clifford McIntire
Successor William Cohen
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Mary Lee Bird
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Service Years 1942–1946
Battles/wars World War II

William Dodd “Bill” Hathaway (February 21, 1924 – June 24, 2013) was a U.S. representative and senator from Maine during the 1960s and 70s. He was a very liberal Democrat who first represented the second congressional district in the House of Representatives and elected to the Senate in 1972.

U.S. Senate

Hathaway ran in the 1972 elections against four-term incumbent Moderate Republican senator Margaret Chase Smith. During the campaign, he emphasized on his relatively young age compared to Smith and attacked her for not being sufficiently left-wing enough,[1] particularly over her support for the Vietnam War. He ultimately won the general election with 53% of the vote.[2] According to a New York Times obituary, Hathaway's mother scolded him after the general election results for defeating Smith, who was revered as a liberal icon in the state.[1]

He was defeated in his 1978 re-election bid by Moderate Republican William Cohen, losing by over twenty percentage points.[3]

Later life and death

Hathaway died on June 24, 2013 at the age of 89 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.[1]


During the 2020 United States Senate election in Maine, some compared RINO incumbent Susan Collins to Margaret Chase Smith and Sara Gideon to Hathaway as fake polls showed Collins trailing Gideon in the general election;[4][5] Collins was in her fourth term during the campaign and seeking a fifth one. Those who predicted a potential political demise for the incumbent liberal Republican noted the 1972 election where despite Smith was nonetheless ousted by Hathaway for not being left-wing enough despite having been liberal for Republican standards in addition to being a popular icon after fiercely opposing Joseph McCarthy for exposing communist infiltration.[6] However, Collins managed to win in the election cycle by a massive upset, disheartening and angering numerous far-leftists.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Martin, Douglas (June 25, 2013). William Hathaway, Senator From Maine, Dies at 89. The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  2. ME US Senate. Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  3. ME US Senate. Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  4. Shephard, Michael (August 26, 2019). What Margaret Chase Smith’s ouster could mean for Susan Collins. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  5. McAllister, Ron (November 7, 2020). Opinion/The Observer: Four terms and out you go, Senator. Seacoastonline. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  6. Margaret Chase Smith Denounces McCarthy. HISTORY. Retrieved April 18, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress