HOULTON, Maine – Behind every famous celebrity is a personal bodyguard guarding against overzealous fans. And for some of the most famous music artists and kings in the world, that bodyguard is Jeffrey Maguire.
Maguire, 55, has been a bodyguard for some of the most powerful and influential people in the world, from musical artists like Jay-Z and Linkin Park to the Saudi royal family. He declined to speak of his current client, relying on professional courtesy.
“After 9/11 I went to Iraq in 2004 and was the infantry team leader there [in the U.S. Army]“Said Maguire over a cup of coffee at The County Co-op in Houlton on the 20th anniversary of the attacks. He lived in New York City on September 11, 2001.
He originally moved to New York in 1992 to pursue a career in the restaurant business, but switched to security in bars and nightclubs. After returning to New York from Iraq in 2005, he went back to safety and began acquiring his first well-known clients.
As his clients’ fame and fortune grew, so did his ability to provide security and self-defense. In addition to his military background, Maguire is a certified paramedic and a National Rifle Association licensed weapons instructor. He has a black belt in Hapkido – a Korean martial art that distinguishes itself from others by its kicks and circular movements. He is also trained in monitoring detection and evasive maneuvers.
“There’s a lot of training behind it,” he says. “When you work with some of the biggest stars in the world, they want to hire world-class security.”
Sometimes that means staying close to your celebrity customers, but not too close. He remembered a time in Mexico when his current client asked him if he would like to sit with her. But he politely declined, preferring to sit a few tables away to keep a better eye on the whole area.
“What I do for a living is keeping them safe from harm,” he said. “I assess threats and look for dangers.”
So how did an internationally traveled bodyguard come about – with some of the world’s most famous clientele – in Houlton, a town in Aroostook County in one of the most rural and remote parts of the country?
“I’ve always been fascinated by Maine,” said Maguire. “My grandfather was an avid hunter, and he always talked about Maine when I was growing up.”
Years after buying a tree farm on Grand Isle in 2012, Maguire convinced his wife, Kimberly, to move from Rhode Island to Houlton.
“I wanted to move us a little further up,” he said. “Grand Isle, that was a bit too remote for my wife, so we agreed on Houlton.”
Maguire, who appears modest apart from his extraordinary size, works as a bodyguard six months a year and spends the rest of the time with his family.
When he’s not doing his security duties, Maguire runs his own business called Mundbora, which makes bulletproof backpacks that can also be held like a personal shield. He said he hoped his business will be a way of growing the economy of his new home. He currently employs around four people and the bags are made in northern Aroostook County.
“I really hope I can bring jobs and businesses to Houlton,” said Maguire. “In addition to some manufacturing jobs here, you manufacture the bags here and ship them worldwide.”