Joseph Sewall '43, former Republican president of the Maine Senate and prominent businessman, died at the age of 89 on November 23.
Coming from a family steeped in Maine business and politics, Sewall was born on December 17, 1921 in Old Town, Maine, in a house built by his great grandfather, George P. Sewall, who was Speaker of the Maine House in 1851.
After graduating from Bowdoin, Sewall served in Naval Aviation as a navigator in World War II before returning to run his family's land surveying and forestry business. In 1946, he became CEO and President of the James W. Sewall Company. Under his leadership, the company expanded rapidly and became one of the most successful engineering and consulting firms of its type.
"He was a leader," said Jim Page, CEO of the James W. Sewall Company. and Sewall's nephew, in a November 23 article in the Bangor Daily News. "In terms of business and political leadership, he was one of the great minds and energies of the state for decades."
Sewall served four terms as Senate president from 1975 to 1982, making him the longest-serving president in Maine history.
In 1984, he was invited to join the Maine Maritime Academy Board of Trustees.
A moderate Republican, Sewall is respected and remembered for his honesty and integrity by both parties.
"He was a man who did not suffer petty squabbling and refined to an art form the ability to wring consensus from a roomful of individuals," wrote James H. Mundy in his book "President of the Senate of Maine."
-Compiled by Sophia Cheng.