The Norman Mineta Papers, 1961-2001 (bulk 1975-1995) document the long-term political career of Norman Mineta. Mineta began
his career in local politics as a member of the San José City Council in 1967 and served as mayor from 1971-1975. In 1974,
Mineta was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1975-1995. Mineta retired from Congress in 1995, retuning
briefly to San José to assume the position of Vice President at the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mineta became the first Asian
Pacific American to serve under two Presidents. From 2000-2001, he served under President Clinton as the Secretary of Commerce,
and from 2001-2006, he served under President Bush as the United States Secretary of Transportation.
Norman Y. Mineta was born in San José, California on November 12, 1931. His father immigrated to the U.S. from Japan as a
boy, and went on to build a successful insurance company in San José, where the family was prominent in the community. Their
lives were severely disrupted during World War II, with the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which mandated relocation of
all Japanese Americans living on the Pacific Coast to internment camps. From 1943 to 1944, the Mineta family was interned
at Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. Local attorney James B. Peckham protected their home by taking title of the
deed; he rented the home to Dr. Lucy Lawson, a professor at San José State University. The mortgage on their home was held
by Parton Savings and Loan. During the war, Norman Mineta's father, Mr. Mineta, served as a volunteer, instructing American
army officers in Japanese in Chicago; his insurance company shut down during the family's internment, and reopened in 1946
following their return to San José. Norman Mineta graduated from high school in San José in 1949, serving as student body
president in his senior year. Following high school, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he received
a degree in business in 1953. In the same year, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC) and served as an intelligence
officer with the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan from 1953-1956. Following his military service, he returned to San José to work
with his father in the insurance business.
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