1. Susan M. Collins was born on Dec. 7, 1952, in Caribou, Maine, the northeasternmost U.S. city.
2. Her parents, Donald and Patricia, each served as mayor of the city of Caribou. Her father also represented the area as a state senator.
3. While Collins was a student at Caribou High School, the school would close for three weeks every September so she and her classmates could help the community harvest potatoes.
4. When she was 17, she visited Washington, D.C., for the first time with the Senate Youth Program. During her visit, she met her idol, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1950 stood up to Sen. Joe McCarthy with her "Declaration of Conscience" speech.
5. Collins graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from St. Lawrence University in 1975.
6. After college, she worked for Maine Republican Rep. William Cohen for 12 years in his Washington office. In 1987, she returned to Maine to serve as secretary of professional and financial regulation in the cabinet of Gov. John McKernan.
7. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush appointed Collins as New England regional director for the Small Business Administration.
8. Running as a Republican in 1994, she was the first woman in Maine's history to earn a major-party nomination for governor. She lost the general election.
9. Collins has never been married and has no children.
10. Collins has held her Senate seat since January 1997 and has never missed a vote. She's the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
- The Nation
- Diane DuBois, Director of the Caribou Public Library