Norman Mineta

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Norman Yoshio Mineta, (born November 12, 1931) is a United States politician of the Democratic Party. Mineta most recently served in President George W. Bush's Cabinet as the United States Secretary of Transportation, the only Democratic Cabinet Secretary in the Bush administration. On June 23, 2006, Mineta announced his resignation after more than five years as Secretary of Transportation, effective July 7, 2006, making him the longest-serving Transportation Secretary in the Department's history. On July 10, 2006, Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm, announced that Mineta would join it as a partner.

Mineta also served as President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Commerce for the last six months of his term (July 2000–January 2001). Save for a span of five days between the end of Clinton's term and Bush's appointments, Mineta spent nearly six full years as a Cabinet member.

Contents

Biography

Early life, career, and family

Mineta was born in San Jose, California, to Japanese immigrant parents who were not allowed to become U.S. citizens at that time due to the Asian Exclusion Act. During World War II the Mineta family was interned for several years in the Heart Mountain internment camp near Cody, Wyoming, along with thousands of other Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans. Upon arrival to the camp, Mineta, a baseball fan, had his baseball bat confiscated by authorities who feared that it was a weapon. Many years later, after Mineta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, a Los Angeles man sent Mineta a $1,500 bat that was once owned by Hank Aaron, which Mineta was forced to send back as it violated the House ban on accepting gifts valued over $250. Mineta was quoted as saying, "The damn government's taken my bat again." [1]

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