Remembering the legacy of Norman Y. Mineta


Mr. Mineta receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

On May 3, former San Jose mayor + Congressman Norman Mineta died at the age of 90 due to heart failure.

Mineta was born in San Jose to Japanese immigrants and later served as the first person of color on San Jose City Council + the first Asian American mayor to run a major US city.

As a congressman, he was an advocate for Japanese Americans and championed the legislation that gave a formal apology and compensation to those incarcerated in WWII, like himself.

He also brought billions of dollars to Silicon Valley to improve highways + transit hubs including CA-87, VTA’s light-rail system, and San Jose International Airport — which was later renamed in his honor.

In January 2024, a six-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Mineta was unveiled at SJC airport in a ceremony that included San Jose Taiko + tribute speeches from transportation officials. You can view it at baggage claim in Terminal B.

To learn more about his story, visit the Mineta Legacy Project’s website.

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