THOMAS J. MESKILL was born January 30, 1929, in New Britain, Connecticut. He received a B.S. degree from Trinity College in 1950. After graduating from Trinity, Meskill served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was discharged as a first lieutenant in 1953. He enrolled at the University of Connecticut Law School, received his law degree in 1956, and returned to New Britain to practice law. He first ran for public office in 1958 when he made an unsuccessful bid for the state senate. The following year, he ran for mayor of New Britain and was narrowly defeated. However, he won his second mayoral campaign and served as New Britain’s Mayor from 1962 until 1964. In 1966 he won a seat in Congress, where he served two terms before being elected governor. When he came into office, the state had a $260 million deficit. By 1973, the deficit had been erased and the state treasury had a surplus of $65 million. Under Meskill’s tenure, the Department of Environmental Protection was created and a state lottery system was instituted — his answer to a state income tax. During his tenure, Governor Meskill served on the National Governors’ Conference Executive Committee. In 1975, President Ford named him Judge of U.S. Court Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and he served until 1993. During his last year on the bench, Meskill served as chief judge.
Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors' Conference, 1974.
The Washington Post, Tuesday, October 30, 2007