WWII hero dies:

Ja­panese-amer­i­can served Hawaii since it be­came a state.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew Tay­lor J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / 2011 AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ja­pane­seAmer­i­can Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii broke racial bar­ri­ers on Capi­tol Hill and played key roles in con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the Water­gate and IranCon­tra scan­dals.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the in­flu­en­tial Demo­crat who broke racial bar­ri­ers on Capi­tol Hill and played key roles in con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the Water­gate and IranCon­tra scan­dals, died Mon­day. He was 88.

Inouye, a se­na­tor since Jan­uary 1963, was cur­rently the long­est serv­ing se­na­tor and was pres­i­dent pro tem­pore of the Se­nate, third in the line of pres­i­den­tial suc­ces­sion. His of­fice said Mon­day that he died of res­pi­ra­tory com­pli­ca­tions at a Washington-area hospi­tal.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid an­nounced Inouye’s death on the Se­nate floor.

Inouye was a World War II hero and Medal of Honor re­cip­i­ent who lost an arm to a Ger­man hand grenade dur­ing a bat­tle in Italy. He be­came the first Ja­panese-Amer­i­can to serve in Congress when he was elected to the House in 1959, the year Hawaii be­came a state. He won elec­tion to the Se­nate three years later and served there longer than any­one in Amer­i­can his­tory ex­cept Robert Byrd of West Vir­ginia, who died in 2010 af­ter 51 years in the Se­nate.

Af­ter Byrd’s death, Inouye be­came pres­i­dent pro tem of the Se­nate, a largely cer­e­mo­nial post that also placed him in the line of suc­ces­sion to the pres­i­dency, af­ter the vice pres­i­dent and the speaker of the House.

Although tremen­dously pop­u­lar in his home state, Inouye ac­tively avoided the na­tional spot­light un­til he was thrust into it. He was the key­note speaker at the 1968 Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion and later re­luc­tantly joined the Se­nate’s se­lect com­mit­tee on the Water­gate scan­dal. The panel’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion led to the res­ig­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon.

Inouye also served as chair­man of the com­mit­tee that in­ves­ti­gated the Iran-Con­tra arms and money af­fair, which rocked Ron­ald Rea­gan’s pres­i­dency.

A quiet but pow­er­ful law­maker, Inouye ran for Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader sev­eral times with­out success. He gained power as a mem­ber of the Se­nate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee and chair­man of the de­fense ap­pro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee be­fore Repub­li­cans took con­trol of the Se­nate in 1994.

When the Democrats re­gained con­trol in the 2006 elec­tions, Inouye be­came chair­man of the Se­nate Com­merce Com­mit­tee. He left that post two years later to be­come chair­man of the pow­er­ful Se­nate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee.

Inouye was serv­ing as Hawaii’s first con­gress­man in 1962, when he ran for the Se­nate and won 70 per­cent of the vote against Repub­li­can Ben­jamin Dilling­ham II, a mem­ber of a prom­i­nent Hawaii fam­ily.

In 1968, Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son urged Vice Pres­i­dent Hu­bert Humphrey, who had won the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for pres­i­dent, to se­lect Inouye as his run­ning mate. John­son told Humphrey that Inouye’s World War II in­juries would si­lence Humphrey’s crit­ics on the Viet­nam War.

But Inouye was not in­ter­ested.

“He was con­tent in his po­si­tion as a U.S. se­na­tor rep­re­sent­ing Hawaii,” Jen­nifer Sabas, Inouye’s Hawaii chief of staff, said in 2008.

Sen. Daniel Inouye worked on the Water­gate and Iran-Con­tra com­mit­tees.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.