Mink, Patsy T., 1927-2002

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Lawyer, public official, and U.S. representative from Hawaii.

From the description of Patsy T. Mink papers, 1883-2005 (bulk 1953-2002). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71014567

Patsy Mink was born in Paia Maui, Hawaii on December 6, 1927, the daughter of Suematsu and Mitama (Tateyama) Takemoto. She was valedictorian of the Maui High School Class of 1944. Mink began her collegiate studies at the University of Hawaii, but left after her sophomore year to attend Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The academic environment at Wilson did not suit Mink and she transferred to the University of Nebraska after one semester. There she instigated a letter-writing campaign against the University's racially discriminatory housing practices, a crusade that was ultimately successful. She was also elected president of the Unaffiliated Students of the University of Nebraska. However, her time in Nebraska was cut short by illness and she returned to Hawaii for treatment and to recuperate.

Mink resumed her studies at the University of Hawaii, majoring in zoology and chemistry, and in 1948 earned her B.A. She went on to earn her Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from the University of Chicago in 1951 and later received honorary degrees from Chaminade College (Honolulu, Hawaii) in 1975, from Syracuse University in 1976, and from Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington) in 1976. Just before graduating in 1951, she married John Francis Mink, a graduate student in geophysics at the University of Chicago. Their first and only child, Gwendolyn, was born in 1952. Soon after her birth, the Minks moved to Hawaii.

Mink became a member of the Hawaii Bar in June 1953 after having to prove that she was a resident of Hawaii. The court claimed that her legal domicile changed to Pennsylvania, John Mink's place of legal residence, when they got married even though she never had lived there. Though she gained admission to the Bar, in the ensuing months, she encountered much resistance from employers who balked at the prospect of hiring a married female lawyer with a child. She decided to open her own private practice in Honolulu, which she maintained until 1965 and again from 1987 to 1990.

In addition to operating her own law practice, Mink participated in a number of other activities and ventures. At the University of Hawaii, she was a lecturer in business law from 1952 to 1956 and again from 1959 to 1962. She served as counsel for the Territory of Hawaii House of Representatives in 1955, and went on to become a member of the Territory of Hawaii House of Representatives, serving from 1956 to 1958, and of the Senate in 1959. She continued her political service to Hawaii after it entered the Union in 1959, winning election to the Hawaii State Senate in 1962, where she served until 1964.

During this time Mink was very active in the Democratic Party. She helped found the Young Democrats Club of Oahu and served as Charter president from 1954 to 1956. In 1957 she was elected vice-president of the National Young Democratic Clubs of America and served until 1959. She was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1960, 1972, and 1980.

In 1964 Hawaii gained another Congressional seat due to reapportionment. Mink ran for the seat and won. She held the seat for the Second Congressional District until 1977. During this time in Congress, Mink was a proponent of women's rights, civil rights, education, and reducing poverty. She authored the Women's Educational Equity Act, opposed the Vietnam war, and supported Title IX of the Higher Education Act Amendments.

In 1976 Hiram Fong retired from his Senate seat. Mink chose to run for his seat and lost to Spark Matsunaga in the primary. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter appointed Mink Assistant Secretary of State for Ocean and International, Environmental, and Scientific Affairs. She resigned from this position in 1978. From 1979 through 1980 she was a member of the National Advisory Committee of the White House Council on Families. Mink also served as national president of Americans for Democratic Action from 1978 to 1981.

Mink and her husband then moved back to Hawaii. It was not long before she was back in the world of politics. From 1983 to 1987 Mink was a member of the Honolulu City Council, serving as chair from 1983 to 1985. She was also Chair of the Housing Commission from 1986 to 1987. In 1986 she ran for governor of Hawaii and lost in the primary. She ran for mayor of Honolulu in 1988 but lost again in the primary.

After the death of Senator Matsunaga in 1990, Representative Daniel Akaka was appointed Senator. Mink decided to run for his open seat, which was in her former district, and won. She served on many Congressional committees and was active in conferences, delegations, and caucuses, including the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues (1990-2002), serving as Chair of that Caucus's Task Force on Economic and Educational Equity from 1993 to 1994.

Mink earned many honors and awards throughout her distinguished career, including the Leadership for Freedom Award from Roosevelt College in Chicago in 1968, the Alii Award from the 4-H Clubs of Hawaii in 1969, the Freedom Award from the Honolulu chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1971, the Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the YWCA of St. Louis in 1972, the Creative Leadership in Women's Rights Award from the NEA in 1977, and the Human Rights Award from the American Federation of Teachers in 1975.

Patsy Mink died of viral pneumonia on September 28, 2002, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In November of 2002, she was posthumously elected to the One Hundred Eighth Congress.

From the guide to the Patsy T. Mink Papers MS 105., 1965-1982, 1965-1975, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Lawyer; Legislator.

Patsy Takemoto Mink was born in Paia Maui, Hawaii on 6 Dec 1927, the daughter of Suematsu and Mitama (Tateyama) Takemoto. She earned her B.A. from the University of Hawaii in 1948 and her LLD from the University of Chicago in 1951. She married John Francis Mink in 1951; they have one child, Gwendolyn. Mink is a member of the Hawaii Bar and was in private practice in Honolulu from 1953 to1965 and from 1987 to 1990. She was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1960, 1972, and 1980. She served as Counsel to the Territory of Hawaii House of Representatives in 1955, and was a member of the Territory of Hawaii House of Representatives from1956 to 1958, and of the Territory of Hawaii Senate in 1959. After Hawaii entered the Union in 1959, Mink served in the State Senate from 1962 to 1964, and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1965 to 1977 and from 1990 to 2002. She died on September 28, 2002.

From the description of Patsy T. Mink papers, 1965-1982 (bulk 1965-1975). (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 55476050

Biographical Note

  • 1927, Dec. 6: Born Patsy Matsu Takemoto, Paia, Maui
  • 1944 - 1948 : Attended University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Oahu (1944-1946); Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa. (fall 1946); University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebr. (spring 1947); and University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Oahu (1947-1948; B.A., 1948)
  • 1951: J.D., University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Ill.
  • 1953: Admitted to the Hawaii bar
  • 1953 - 1964 : Private legal practice, Honolulu, Oahu
  • 1955: Attorney, Hawaii territorial house of representatives
  • 1956: Elected to the Hawaii territorial house of representatives
  • 1957 - 1959 : National vice president, Young Democratic Clubs of America
  • 1958: Elected to the Hawaii territorial senate
  • 1959: Ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives
  • 1962: Elected to the Hawaii state senate
  • 1965 - 1977 : Member, United States House of Representatives
  • 1976: Defeated in primary race for the United States Senate
  • 1977 - 1978 : Assistant secretary of state for oceans and international, environmental, and scientific affairs
  • 1978 - 1981 : President, Americans for Democratic Action
  • 1983 - 1987 : Member, Honolulu City Council, Honolulu, Oahu (chair, 1983-1985)
  • 1986: Ran unsuccessfully for governor of Hawaii
  • 1988: Ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Honolulu, Oahu
  • 1989 - 1991 : Founder and president, Public Reporter
  • 1990 - 2002 : Member, United States House of Representatives
  • 2002, Sept. 28: Died, Honolulu, Oahu

From the guide to the Patsy T. Mink Papers, 1883-2005, (bulk 1953-2002), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Edith Green papers, 1955-1975 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Darcy, Lynne. Papers of NOW officers, 1971-1976 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn National Land for People collection, Bulk, 1972-1983, 1850-1991 Special Collections Research Center, California State University, Fresno
creatorOf Mink, Patsy T., 1927-2002. Patsy T. Mink papers, 1883-2005 (bulk 1953-2002). Library of Congress
referencedIn National Organization for Women. Records: Series I-XVI, 1961-1999 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Albert, Carl Bert, 1908-2000. Congressional papers, 1910-1998, bulk 1946-1998. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn National Organization for Women. New York City. Records, 1966-1984 (bulk 1970-1972). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Patsy T. Mink Papers MS 105., 1965-1982, 1965-1975 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Photographs of the White House Photograph Office (Clinton Administration). 1/20/1993 - 1/20/2001. Photographs Relating to the Clinton Administration. 1/20/1993 - 1/20/2001. Photograph of President William Jefferson Clinton Signing Public Law 103-150 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C.
referencedIn Lamson, Peggy. Papers, ca. 1967. Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Patsy T. Mink Papers, 1883-2005, (bulk 1953-2002) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Audiotape collection of the National Women's Conference, 1977 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers of NOW officers, 1960-1973 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Martha Wright Griffiths papers, 1956-1976 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Alexander, Dolores. Papers, 1960-1973 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn George Yuzawa Papers, circa 1900-2009 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Candidates for public office campaign materials, 1966-1976 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, ca. 1967 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Mink, Patsy T., 1927-2002. Patsy T. Mink papers, 1965-1982 (bulk 1965-1975). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records, 1966-1984 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, 1943-1975 George Mason University. Special Collections and Archives.
referencedIn Papers, 1941-1995 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers of NOW officers, 1971-1976 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Atkins, Oliver F., 1916-1977. Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, 1943-1975. George Mason University, Fenwick Library
referencedIn Green, Edith, 1910-1987. Edith Green papers [manuscript] 1955-1975. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Patsy T. Mink Papers MS 105., 1965-1982, 1965-1975 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1959-2002, 1966-1998 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Albert, Carl Bert, 1908-2000. person
associatedWith Alexander, Dolores. person
associatedWith Americans for Democratic Action. corporateBody
associatedWith Atkins, Oliver F., 1916-1977. person
associatedWith Ballis, George Elfie, 1925-2010 person
associatedWith Ballis, Maia person
associatedWith Catherine East, 1916-1996 person
associatedWith Darcy, Lynne. person
associatedWith Democratic Party (Hawaii) corporateBody
associatedWith Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dolores Alexander corporateBody
associatedWith George Yuzawa person
associatedWith Green, Edith, 1910-1987 person
associatedWith Griffiths, Martha Wright, 1912- person
associatedWith Honolulu (Hawaii). City Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Lamson, Peggy. person
associatedWith Lynne Darcy person
associatedWith Mink family. family
associatedWith Mink family. family
associatedWith Mink, Patsy T., 1927- person
associatedWith National Organization for Women. corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. New York City. corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Conference corporateBody
associatedWith Oliver F. Atkins, 1916-1977 person
associatedWith Peggy Lamson person
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of State. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of State. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Women's Educational Equity Act. corporateBody
associatedWith Young Democratic Clubs of America. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pacific Islands (Trust Territory)
Hawaii
Honolulu (Hawaii)
Pacific Islands (Trust Territory)
United States
Honolulu (Hawaii)
United States
Hawaii--Honolulu
Hawaii
Hawaii-Politics and government-1950- -Sources
Guam
Guam
American Samoa
Hawaii
American Samoa
United States
Subject
Race discrimination--United States
Women's rights--United States--History--Sources
Asian American women--History--Sources
Environmental policy
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States--History-20th century--Sources
Labor
Discrimination in education--Law and legislation
Poverty
Strip mining--Law and legislation
Sex discrimination--United States
Emigration and immigration--United States
Women--United States
Military bases--Hawaii
Asian Americans
Women in politics--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Sports for women--United States
Medical care--United States
Women
Education--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Sports for women
Sex discrimination
Sex discrimination in sports
Discrimination in education--Law and legislation--United States
Women's rights--United States
Practice of law
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--History--20th century--Sources
Consumers
Sex discrimination in sports--United States
Education--History--20th century--Sources
Labor--United States
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
National parks and reserves
Nuclear weapons--Testing
Draft
Military Bases
Emigration and immigration
Civil rights--United States
National parks and reserves--Hawaii
Consumers--United States
Education
Public welfare
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Education--United States
Child care--United States
Women--Political activity--History--20th century--Sources
Legislators--United States--History-20th century--Sources
Historic sites--Hawaii
Hawaiians
Environmental protection--International cooperation
Asian American women--History--United States--Sources
Environmental policy--United States
Public welfare--United States
Women's rights
Practice of law--Hawaii--Honolulu
Women legislators--History--Sources
Women legislators--United States--History--Sources
Medical care
Draft--United States
Civil rights
Historic sites
Women's rights--History--Sources
Child care
Race discrimination
Legislators--History--20th century--Sources
Poverty--United States
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Japanese Americans
Occupation
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Hawaii
Public officials
Lawyers
Function

Person

Birth 1927-12-06

Death 2002-09-28

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6514d06

SNAC ID: 23889094