Former Maine Sen. George Mitchell diagnosed with leukemia

“With the help of his good doctors and a very supportive family he hopes to achieve remission.”

FILE- In this March 30, 2012, file photo former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell speaks in South Portland, Maine. The former senator and peace envoy to Northern Ireland, is beginning treatment for leukemia at a Boston hospital on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, a day after his 87th birthday. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) Robert F. Bukaty / AP, File

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, a famed peace envoy in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, is starting treatment for leukemia at a Boston hospital on Friday, a day after his 87th birthday.

The Portland Press Herald obtained an email outlining the diagnosis and treatment from the president and CEO of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute.

Meg Baxter wrote in the email to the staff and board that she’d spoken to Mitchell and that treatment for the cancer of the bone marrow was starting Friday at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the newspaper reported.


“With the help of his good doctors and a very supportive family he hopes to achieve remission,” Baxter said Friday in an email confirming the diagnosis and treatment. She declined further comment.

Mitchell, also a peace envoy in the Middle East focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during President Barack Obama’s administration, is a consultant and former chairman of the global law firm DLA Piper. He brokered the historic 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999. He also was tapped by Major League Baseball to investigate steroid use by players, leading to the eponymous Mitchell Report.


Mitchell, a Democrat, won election twice as a U.S. senator and served as majority leader after first being appointed to fill a position left vacant when the late Edmund Muskie was tapped to serve as secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter.

Before that, the Waterville native and Bowdoin College graduate served as a U.S. attorney and federal judge.

Mitchell was previously diagnosed with what was termed “small, low-grade and localized” prostate cancer in 2007.

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