Patsy Mink

official photo of Patsy Mink

Birth Name: Patsy Matsu Takemoto

Date of Birth: December 6, 1927

Place of Birth: Hāmākua Poko, Hawaii Territory

Date of Death: September 28, 2002

Place of Death: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Ethnicity: Japanese

Patsy Mink was an American lawyer and politician. A Democrat, she served as Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii, from January 3, 1965 to January 3, 1977, and again from September 22, 1990 to September 28, 2002. She was the first non-white congresswoman. She was also a Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus, from January 3, 1975 to January 3, 1977, and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, from March 28, 1977 to May 1, 1978.

She was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1972.

Patsy was the daughter of Mitama (Tateyama) and Suematsu Takemoto. Her parents were both born in Hawaii, both of them to Japanese parents. She was married to hydrologist John Mink, with whom she had a daughter.

Patsy’s paternal grandparents were named Yakichi Takemoto and Shumu.

Patsy’s maternal grandparents were named Gojiro Tateyama and Tsuru Wakashige.

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm, also a Democrat, and Patsy and were the second and third women, respectively, to run for a major American political party’s presidential nomination (Margaret Chase Smith, who ran for the Republican nomination in 1964, was the first). Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to have been nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party, in 1984, and Hillary Clinton is the first woman to have been nominated for the Presidency by a major party, in 2016. Clinton is also the only woman to have won a major party’s presidential primary and/or nominating contest, 23 in 2008 and 34 in 2016, other than Shirley Chisholm, who won three non-traditional contests in 1972. Kamala Harris is the first woman elected President or Vice President of the United States, being elected Vice President in 2020.

Patsy was one of several Asian-Americans to mount a notable campaign for a major American political party’s nomination for President of the United States. The others are:
*Hiram Fong (who sought the 1964 and 1968 Republican nominations; Fong was of Chinese descent)
*Bobby Jindal (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Jindal is of Indian descent)
*Andrew Yang (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Yang’s parents are Taiwanese)
*Kamala Harris (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Harris’ mother was a Tamil Indian)

As stated, Kamala Harris was elected Vice President of the United States in 2020.

Sources: Patsy Mink on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Patsy Mink (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

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