Miller Center

Norman Y. Mineta (2001–2006) - Secretary of Transportion

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Norman Yoshio Mineta was born in 1931 in San Jose, California. Mineta and his family spent World War II in an internment camp in Wyoming, but after the war he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953 and spent the next three years in the Army. In 1962, Mineta became involved in San Jose politics, serving on the San Jose Human Relations Commission from 1962 to 1964, winning a seat on the board of directors of the San Jose Housing Authority in 1966, and then becoming first a member of the San Jose city council in 1967, vice mayor in 1968, and finally mayor in 1971. In 1974, Mineta won election to the United States Congress; his tenure in the House of Representatives lasted from 1975 to 1995. In 1992, Mineta declined President-elect Bill Clinton's offer to become secretary of transportation, deciding to retain his House seat, but by 1995, Mineta had left Congress to become vice-president of Lockheed Martin's Transportation System and Services Division. In 1997, Mineta became chairman of the Federal Aviation Administration's National Civil Aviation Review CommissionIn 2000, Mineta accepted President Clinton's offer to become secretary of commerce. In 2001, Mineta became secretary of transportation for President George W. Bush. He was the only Democrat in Bush's cabinet until he resigned in 2006.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Gary L. Gregg II 

Professor Gregg is the director of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. He also holds the Mitch McConnell Chair in leadership. His writings include: 

Considering the Bush Presidency. (with Mark J. Rozell, Oxford University Press, 2004)

Thinking about the Presidency: Documents and Essays from the Founding to the Present. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College (2nd ed.). (ISI Books, 2008)

America's Forgotten Founders (2nd ed.). (with Mark D. Hall, ISI Books, 2012)

The consulting editor wishes to thank Connor Tracy and Travis Wilson for serving as research assistants on this project.