28 Facts About Norman Mineta


Norman Mineta served as the mayor of San Jose from 1971 until 1975.

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Norman Mineta was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California from 1975 until 1995.

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Norman Mineta served as the United States Secretary of Commerce during the final months of Bill Clinton's presidency.

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Norman Mineta was the first person of East Asian descent to serve as a U S Cabinet secretary.

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Norman Mineta was born in San Jose, California, to Japanese immigrant parents Kunisaku Norman Mineta and Kane Watanabe, who were barred from becoming American citizens at that time by the Asian Exclusion Act.

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Norman Mineta graduated from the University of California, Berkeley's School of Business Administration in 1953 with a degree in business administration.

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Norman Mineta then joined his father in the Mineta Insurance Agency.

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In 1967, Norman Mineta was appointed to a vacant San Jose City Council seat by mayor Ron James.

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Norman Mineta was elected to office for the first time after completing a term in the city council.

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Norman Mineta ran against 14 other candidates in the 1971 election to replace outgoing mayor Ron James.

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In 1974, Norman Mineta ran for the United States House of Representatives in what was then.

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Norman Mineta was reelected 10 more times from this Silicon Valley-based district, which was renumbered as the 15th District in 1993, never dropping below 57 percent of the vote.

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Norman Mineta cofounded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and served as its first chair.

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Norman Mineta served as chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure between 1992 and 1994.

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Norman Mineta chaired the committee's aviation subcommittee between 1981 and 1988, and chaired its Surface Transportation subcommittee from 1989 to 1991.

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Norman Mineta pressed for more funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Norman Mineta resigned his seat mid-term to accept a position with Lockheed Martin in 1995.

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Norman Mineta chaired the National Civil Aviation Review Commission, which in 1997 issued recommendations on minimizing traffic congestion and reducing the aviation accident rate.

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Norman Mineta had formerly served on the board of AECOM Technology Corporation and was on the board of SJW Corp.

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Norman Mineta was the only Democrat to have served in Bush's cabinet and the first Secretary of Transportation to have previously served in a cabinet position.

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Norman Mineta became the first Asian American to hold the position, and only the fourth person to be a member of Cabinet under two presidents from different political parties .

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In 2004, Norman Mineta received the Tony Jannus Award for his distinguished contributions to commercial air transportation.

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Norman Mineta stated that it was illegal for the airlines to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin or religion.

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Norman Mineta later recalled his decision "was the right thing [and] constitutional" based on his own experience as a member of those who had "lost the most basic human rights" as a result of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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In 2005, Norman Mineta received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member and Google cofounder Larry Page.

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In June 2010, Norman Mineta was named co-chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.

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In 1991, Norman Mineta married United Airlines flight attendant Danealia "Deni" Brantner.

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Norman Mineta had two children from his first marriage and two stepchildren from his second marriage.

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