Former Secretary of Transportation and Japanese American Norman Y. Mineta died on Tuesday at age 90:
“Norman Y. Mineta, a second-generation Japanese American who was held in an internment camp during World War II and later became one of the country’s highest-profile Asian American political leaders, as a big-city mayor, a 10-term congressman and a Cabinet secretary, died May 3 at his home in Edgewater, Md. He was 90.
The cause was a heart ailment, said John Flaherty, his former chief of staff.
As a Democratic congressman and later as a Cabinet member under Democratic and Republican presidents, Mr. Mineta was widely regarded for his expertise in the byzantine policies governing the country’s highways, railroads and airports. In 1971, he was the first Asian American to lead a major U.S. city, his native San Jose, which was in the midst of a population boom.During his tenure in Congress representing Silicon Valley from 1975 to 1995, he championed civil liberties and played a key role in obtaining an official apology and compensation for Japanese Americans who were forced from their homes during World War II when their ancestry made them objects of government suspicion.”
I had the distinct honor of meeting Mineta back in 2018 at CAAMFEST36: opening night for his screening of a documentary about his life: ‘An American Story: Norman Mineta.’
Mineta lived an amazing life of service – may he Rest In Peace.