Born San Jose, California

Born to immigrant Japanese parents who were detained in an internment camp during World War II, Norman Mineta went on to become one of America's most influential Asian American political officeholders. He was elected mayor of San Jose in 1971, becoming the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city, and served in Congress from 1975 to 1995, where he co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. With his longtime friend Senator Alan Simpson, Mineta engineered the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, an official government apology for the Japanese internment camps. In 2000 President Clinton appointed Mineta secretary of commerce, making him the first Asian American to hold a cabinet post. In 2001, as George W. Bush's secretary of transportation-and the only Democrat in Bush's cabinet-Mineta issued the historic order to ground all civilian aircraft on September 11, 2001. Mineta resigned his cabinet seat in 2006 and is currently vice chairman of Hill & Knowlton.


  • Title: Norman Yoshio Mineta
  • Creator: Everett Raymond Kinstler
  • Date Created: 2009
  • Physical Dimensions: w91.4 x h106.7 cm (Stretcher)
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of George and Sakaye Aratani; Hill & Knowlton; Verizon Communications; AT&T; Freddie Mac; Saturn Electronics & Engineering/Wally Tsuha; Ms. Irene Hirano and the Japanese American National Museum; National Japanese American Memorial Foundation; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars; Asian American Government Executives Network; Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies; Allen Okamoto, Chairman of Asian Real Estate Association of America; Association of Asian/Pacific Community Health Organizations; Col. S. Phil Ishio (ret.) and Connie Ishio; Japanese American Citizens League (National); Japanese American Citizens League (D.C. Chapter); Japanese American Veterans Association; Justice & Security Strategies, Inc.; Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc.; Robert Nakamoto; National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development; National Association of RealtorsŽ; National Council of Asian Pacific Americans; OCA; State FarmŽ; and other friends of Norman Mineta
  • External Link: https://npg.si.edu/portraits
  • More Info: Blog article - From the NPG blog, July 28, 2010: "Now On View: Portrait of Norman Mineta."
  • Classification: Painting

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