Patsy Takemoto Mink
United States Representative (1927-2002)
The first Asian American woman elected to Congress, Patsy Mink served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1964 to 1976 and again from 1990 to 2002. An active supporter of the state Democratic Party during its dramatic rise to dominance in the 1950’s, she was an advocate of women’s rights and a supporter of equal opportunity and equal education. Among her many accomplishments, she was a co-author and key sponsor of Title IX, the landmark Education Amendments of 1972 prohibiting sex discrimination at any educational institution or programs receiving federal funds.
Born Patsy Takemoto in Paia, Maui, Hawai`i, Mink attended college at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and the University of Nebraska before graduating from the University of Hawai`i (1948) with a degree in zoology and chemistry. Enrolling in law school at the University of Chicago, it was here that she earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1951 and met her husband John Mink. Returning home to Hawai`i, she began her close association with the state Democratic Party.
Patsy Mink first entered politics as a member of Hawai`i’s Territorial State House of Representatives (1956) and the State Senate (1958). First elected to the U.S. Congress in 1964, she served in the House of Representatives for 12 years. After an unsuccessful bid for the Senate, she continued to be active in politics in Washington and Hawai`i. In 1990, she returned to the U.S. House of Representatives for four more terms until 2002.
As of November 20, 2005