For Immediate Release:
Date: May 3, 2022
Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director
WASHINGTON – Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, a 10-term congressman and the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet, died today at his home in Edgewater, Md., at the age of 90.
“A legend in the Asian American community, Secretary Mineta dedicated his life to public service,” said NAPABA Executive Director Priya Purandare. “Sec. Mineta’s story began during one of the darkest times in American history, Japanese American incarceration. He then went on to become one of the country’s highest profile political leaders, and lived and led with courage, strength, and resilience. Throughout his life and career, he advocated for the civil liberties of Asian Americans, and was a co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. His lived experience with incarceration informed his fight against the racial profiling of Muslims after the 9/11 attacks because he did not want history to repeat itself. May we and future generations all be inspired by his legacy as we mourn this enormous loss.”
Secretary Mineta served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in President George W. Bush’s cabinet and as Secretary of Commerce in President Bill Clinton’s cabinet. He was the first Asian American to become mayor of a major U.S. city, San Jose, California. He was also a military veteran, having served as an Army intelligence officer in Korea and Japan. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2006.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.