Carl Milliken

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Carl Milliken
Carl Milliken.jpg
51st Governor of Maine
In office
January 3, 1917 – January 5, 1921
Preceded by Oakley C. Curtis
Succeeded by Frederic H. Parkhurst
President of the Maine Senate
In office
January 2, 1913 – January 5, 1915
Maine State Senator
In office
January 2, 1909 – January 2, 1913
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born July 13, 1877
Pittsfield, Maine
Died May 1, 1961 (aged 83)
Political party Progressive; Republican
Alma mater Bates College
Harvard University

Carl Elias Milliken (July 13, 1877 – May 1, 1961) was an American politician, and business executive. He served as the 51st Governor of Maine, and was the Chief Spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America. Milliken was the first governor to be nominated by direct primary in Maine.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Pittsfield, Maine, Milliken graduated from Bates College in 1897. He went on to receive his masters degree from Harvard University in 1899, before moving to Island Falls, Maine to enter the lumber business.

Early business career[edit]

During the next six years, Milliken held positions as general manager of two lumber companies and an axe manufacturer and as president of a local telephone company.

Political career[edit]

His political career began in 1905, when he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. Milliken moved up to the Maine State Senate in 1909, and was president of that body from 1913 to 1915.

As governor[edit]

Running for Governor of Maine as a Republican Party candidate in 1916, Milliken easily defeated the Democratic Party incumbent, Oakley C. Curtis.[1] He was reelected in 1918, this time by a smaller margin over Bertrand McIntire. Milliken was the first governor to be nominated by direct primary. As governor, he strictly enforced state and federal alcohol prohibition laws, which he strongly supported.

Motion Picture career[edit]

Milliken left office on January 5, 1921. The following year, he became executive secretary and chief spokesman of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association (later the Motion Picture Association of America), the movie industry’s first self-censorship body. Milliken served as executive secretary for more than two decades, retiring in 1947.

In retirement[edit]

After stepping down from the MPAA, Milliken served as the managing trustee of Teaching Film Custodians, a trust for educational films, and also served a term as president of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.

Personal life and death[edit]

Milliken married twice. His first wife, the former Emma Chase, died in 1930. He then married her sister, Caroline Chase. With his first wife, Milliken had one son and six daughters.


  • Milliken was Maine's governor during World War I. During that war, the 103rd Infantry Regiment (of the 26th Division of the American Expeditionary Force), which was composed of Maine residents, was nicknamed the "Milliken Regiment".
  • A residential house on the campus of Bates College is named after Milliken. The house was known in the 1980s for hosting rowdy alcohol-available parties; ironic, given Milliken's stance on prohibition.


Political offices
Preceded by
Oakley C. Curtis
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Frederic H. Parkhurst