Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927-2002)
Patsy Takemoto Mink was born in Hawaii. She received a B.A. from the University of Hawaii and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. After graduation in 1951, Mink returned to Hawaii where she began practicing law. She was the first Asian-American woman to do so. Mink then became active in Hawaii’s state politics and in 1965 she was elected to the United States House of Representatives for Hawaii where she was the first Asian-American Congresswoman. She held this position until 1977. Then Mink served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Next she held the position of president of Americans for Democratic Action for three years. In 1990 she was re-elected to Congress as a Representative for Hawaii and held this position until her death in 2002. Over the years her political focus was on education, childcare, the environment, and equal opportunity.
Article is excerpted from a NWHM Fall 2004 Newsletter