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 member of the Democratic Party, she served as a 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 female congressperson. She was also 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 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 grandfather was named Yakichi Takemoto.

Patsy’s paternal grandmother was named Shumu.

Patsy’s maternal grandfather was named Gojiro Tateyama.

Patsy’s maternal grandmother was named Tsuru Wakashige.

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm, also a Democrat, and Patsy 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. Shirley Chisholm won three non-traditional nominating contests in 1972; Hillary Clinton has since been the only woman to have won a major party’s presidential primary and/or nominating contest, 23 in 2008 and 34 in 2016. Kamala Harris, who was sworn in as Vice President in 2021, is the first woman to serve as either President or Vice President of the United States.

Patsy was one of several Asian-Americans to mount a notable campaign for a major 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)
*Nikki Haley (who is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination; Haley is of Punjabi Indian descent)
*Vivek Ramaswamy (who sought the 2024 Republican nomination; Ramaswamy is of Tamil Indian descent)

Sources: Patsy Mink on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Patsy Mink (focusing on her mother’s side) –

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