Former United States Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta Dead at 90

Written by: King Bygone

Norman Mineta Dead at 90

Norman Y. Mineta, a first-generation Japanese American who was held in an internment camp during World War II and later became one of the country’s highest-profile Asian American political leaders, as a big-city mayor, a 10-term congressman and a Cabinet secretary, died May 3 at his home in Edgewater, Md. He was 90.

Norman Mineta Dead at 90

The cause was a heart ailment, said John Flaherty, his former chief of staff.

A member 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.

He previously served as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Commerce for the last six months of his term.

On July 10, 2006, Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm, announced that Mineta would join it as a partner. On August 10, 2010, it was announced that Mineta would join L&L Energy, Inc as vice chairman.

His political career began in 1967 when he was appointed to a vacant San Jose City Council seat by Mayor Ron James.

In 1969, he was elected to office for the first time, after completing the city council term he had been appointed to. He was elected vice mayor by fellow councilors during that term.

Mr. Mineta graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953 and then served for three years as an Army intelligence officer. He subsequently worked for his father’s insurance company in San Jose before being groomed by the city’s Japanese American community leaders for political office.

His first marriage, to May Hinoki, ended in divorce. In 1991, he married Danealia “Deni” Brantner, a flight attendant. In addition to his wife, of Edgewater, survivors include two sons from his first marriage, David Mineta of San Jose and Stuart Mineta of Redwood City, Calif.; two stepsons, Robert Brantner of West River, Md., and Mark Brantner of Johnson City, Tenn.; and 11 grandchildren.

Norman Mineta Dead at 90

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