Norman Y. Mineta

50 YRS - Mineta Portrait

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, 2006
  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 2001-2006
  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce, 2000-2001
  • Member of Congress, 1975-1995
  • Mayor of San Jose, 1971-1974
  • Member, San Jose City Council 1967-1971

For almost 30 years, Norman Y. Mineta represented San Jose – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975-1995 as a Member of Congress. Throughout that time, Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported infrastructure development to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.

During his term as Mayor, Mineta– along with former Saratoga City Councilmember and Santa Clara County Supervisor Rod Diridon – was instrumental in the acquisition of the San Jose City Bus Lines and other transit operations in the region from General Motors, who, according to Mineta, was buying up transit agencies with the intent of putting them out of business to promote reliance on automobiles.

While a Member of Congress, Mineta was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. He subsequently chaired the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994.

In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. From 2001-2006, he served as Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush, becoming both the longest-serving Transportation Secretary in U.S. history and the first to hold that position after having previously served in a different cabinet role.

The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport was named after him in November 2001 while he was serving as Secretary of Transportation. The Mineta Transportation Institute, located at San Jose State University, and portions of California State Highway 85 are also named after him.

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