Horace Hildreth

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Horace Hildreth
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
March 13, 1953 – May 1, 1957
Preceded by John M. Cabot
Succeeded by James M. Langley
59th Governor of Maine
In office
January 3, 1945 – January 5, 1949
Preceded by Sumner Sewall
Succeeded by Frederick G. Payne
109th President of the Maine Senate
In office
Preceded by Francis H. Friend
Succeeded by George D. Varney
Personal details
Born Horace Augustus Hildreth
(1902-12-02)December 2, 1902
Gardiner, Maine, U.S.
Died (1988-06-02)June 2, 1988 (aged 85)
Political party Republican
Children Hoddy Hildreth
Residence Blaine House
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Harvard University

Horace Augustus Hildreth (December 2, 1902 – June 2, 1988) was born in Gardiner, Maine, the son of an attorney. Hildreth attended local schools before graduating from Bowdoin College in the class of 1925 and receiving his LL.B. from Harvard University in 1928.

In Boston he joined the prestigious law firm of Ropes, Gray, Best, Coolidge and Rugg before returning to Maine with the desire for a political career. Elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1940 and the Maine Senate in 1942, he served as 109th President of the Maine Senate for the 1943-1944 term.

He won the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1944 and was elected the 59th Governor of Maine by a landslide margin. Reelected in 1946 by another large margin he was a supporter of the University of Maine and education for veterans.

In 1947 to 1948 he chaired the National Governors Conference and proposed that the retail sales tax be the exclusive province of the federal government as a trade-off for the elimination of federal gas, inheritance and alcohol taxes.

In 1948 he lost the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator to Margaret Chase Smith thus ending his political career. In 1949 he founded Community Broadcasting Service, a company which in 1953 would establish Maine's first television station, WABI-TV. Community Broadcasting Service later became known as Diversified Communications, a company which is still in existence today and still controlled by the Hildreth family.

From the time of his loss of the senatorial nomination until his appointment as Ambassador to Pakistan, Hildreth served as President of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

From 1953 to 1957, Hildreth served the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration as United States Ambassador to Pakistan. In 1967 he bought a controlling share of a Portland radio station, but withdrew from active participation in its operation in 1974.

Hildreth died on June 2, 1988 of a heart attack.[1]

Hildreth's son, Hoddy Hildreth, later became a member of the Maine House of Representatives and a leading conservationist.


  1. ^ "Horace Hildreth, 85, Ex-Governor of Maine". The New York Times. June 4, 1988. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Sumner Sewall
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Frederick G. Payne
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Moors Cabot
United States Ambassador to Pakistan
Succeeded by
James M. Langley