Jean (Hayashi) Ariyoshi, who holds a B.A. in speech and a B.S. in math from the University of Hawai`i, met her future husband George Ariyoshi while earning her teaching credential and serving as a speech instructor. She also hosted a weekly television talent show. They married in 1955, a year after his election as a Democrat to the Hawai`i Territorial House.
Heavily involved in charitable and community causes during her husband’s tenure as Hawai’i’s governor between 1974 and 1986, she established the First Lady’s Volunteer Awards to honor Hawaii’s outstanding volunteers annually. After the end of her duties as first lady, she became a domestic and international philanthropic figure. (December 2003)