Daniel Inouye: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dan Inouye Medal of Honor Recipient

Assumed office 
January 3, 1963
Serving with Daniel Akaka
Preceded by Oren E. Long

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's At-large district
In office
August 21, 1959 β€“ January 3, 1963
Preceded by First congressman (statehood)
Succeeded by Thomas Ponce Gill

In office
January 3, 1975 β€“ January 3, 1979
Preceded by Committee created
Succeeded by Birch Bayh

In office
January 3, 1987 β€“ January 3, 1995
January 3, 2001 β€“ January 20, 2001
June 6, 2001 β€“ January 3, 2003
Preceded by Mark Andrews (1987)
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2001)
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2001)
Succeeded by John McCain (1995)
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2001)
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2003)

In office
January 3, 2007 β€“ January 3, 2009
Preceded by Ted Stevens
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller

Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Robert Byrd

In office
1958 β€“ 1959

In office
1954 β€“ 1958

Born September 7, 1924 (1924-09-07) (age 85)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Shinobu Awamura (1949 - 2006) (her death)
Irene Hirano (2008-present)
Residence Honolulu, Hawaii
Alma mater University of Hawaii at Manoa, George Washington University
Occupation attorney
Religion Methodism
Website Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943-1947
Rank Captain
Unit 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Bronze Star
Purple Heart

Daniel Ken "Dan" Inouye (Japanese: δΊ•δΈŠ ε»Ί, Inoue Ken; born September 7, 1924) is an American politician who currently serves as the senior United States Senator from Hawaii. He has been a U.S. Senator since 1963 and, following the recent death of Ted Kennedy, is currently the second-most-senior member after fellow Democrat Robert Byrd. He is the third longest serving U.S Senator in history, after Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond. He has continuously represented Hawaii in the U.S. Congress since it achieved statehood in 1959, serving as Hawaii's first U.S. Representative and later a U.S. Senator. Inouye was the first Japanese-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the first in the U.S. Senate. He is the third oldest U.S. Senator after Robert Byrd and Frank Lautenberg. He is also a recipient of the Medal of Honor.


Personal history

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Inouye is a Nisei (second-generation) Japanese-American and a son of Kame Imanaga and Hyotaro Inouye.[1] He grew up in the Bingham Tract, a Chinese-American enclave within the predominantly Japanese-American community of Mo'ili'ili in Honolulu.

He was at the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 as a medical volunteer.[2]

Inouye as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army
Medal of Honor

In 1943, when the U.S. Army dropped its ban on Japanese-Americans, Inouye curtailed his premedical studies at the University of Hawaii and enlisted in the Army.[2] He was assigned to the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most-highly decorated unit in the history of the Army. During the World War II campaign in Europe he received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Cross, which was later upgraded, by President Clinton in June 2000, to the Medal of Honor.[3]

Inouye was promoted to the rank of sergeant within his first year, and he was given the role of platoon leader. He served in Italy in 1944 during the Rome-Arno Campaign before he was shifted to the Vosges Mountains region of France, where he spent two weeks searching for the Lost Battalion, a Texas battalion that was surrounded by German forces. He was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant for his actions there. At one point while leading an attack a shot struck him in the chest directly above his heart, but the bullet was stopped by the two silver dollars he happened to have stacked in his shirt pocket. He continued to carry the coins throughout the war in his shirt pocket as good luck charms.


Assault on Colle Musatello

On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near Terenzo called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most dogged line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.

As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving the primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore".[4] Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to successfully pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody had called off the war".[4]

The remainder of Inouye's mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him.[5] Inouye was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery in this action, with the award later being upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton (alongside 21 other Nisei servicemen who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were believed to have been denied proper recognition of their bravery due to their race). His story, along with interviews with him about the war as a whole, were featured prominently in the 2007 Ken Burns documentary The War.[6]

While recovering from WWII wounds and the amputation of his right forearm from the grenade wound (mentioned above) at Percy Jones Army Hospital, Inouye met future Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, then a fellow patient. Dole mentioned to Inouye that after the war he planned to go to Congress; Inouye beat him there by a few years. The two have remained lifelong friends. In 2003, the hospital was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of the two WWII veterans and another U.S. Senator and fellow WWII veteran who had stayed in the hospital, Philip Hart.

In 2007, he was personally inducted as LΓ©gion d'honneur Chevalier by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In February 2009, a bill was filed in the Philippine House of Representatives by Rep. Antonio Diaz seeking to confer honorary Filipino citizenship on Inouye, Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Akaka and Representative Bob Filner, for their role in securing the passage of benefits for Filipino World War II veterans.[7]


His wife of fifty-seven years, Maggie, died on March 13, 2006. On May 24, 2008, he married Irene Hirano in a private ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. Ms. Hirano is president and chief executive officer of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, she is 24 years Inouye's junior. Inouye's son Kenny was the guitarist for influential D.C. hardcore punk band Marginal Man[8]

Congressional career

Although he lost his right arm in WWII, Inouye remained in the military until 1947 and was honorably discharged with the rank of captain. Due to the loss of his arm, he abandoned his plans to become a surgeon[2] and returned to college to study political science under the GI Bill. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He earned his law degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1953 and was elected into the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. Soon afterward he was elected to the territorial legislature, of which he was a member until shortly before Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959. He won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as Hawaii's first full member, and took office on August 21, 1959, the same date Hawaii became a state; he was reelected in 1960.

In 1962 Inouye was elected to the U.S. Senate, succeeding fellow Democrat Oren E. Long. He is currently serving his eighth consecutive six-year term, having most recently run against Republican candidate Campbell Cavasso in 2004. He delivered the keynote address at the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago,[2] and gained national attention for his service on the Senate Watergate Committee. He was chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence from 1975 until 1979, and chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs from 1987 until 1995 and from 2001 until 2003. Inouye was also involved in the Iran-Contra investigations of the 1980s, chairing a special committee from 1987 until 1989.

In 2000, Inouye was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his long and distinguished career in public service.[9]

In 2009, Inouye assumed leadership of the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations after longtime chairman Robert Byrd stepped down.

Gang of 14

On May 23, 2005, Inouye was a member of a bipartisan group of fourteen moderate senators, known as the Gang of 14, to forge a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus blocking the Republican leadership's attempt to implement the "nuclear option", a means of forcibly ending a filibuster. Under the agreement, the Democrats would retain the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and the three-most-conservative Bush appellate court nominees (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William H. Pryor, Jr.) would receive a vote by the full U.S. Senate.

Committee assignments

Party leadership

  • Senate Democratic Steering and Coordination Committee


Electoral history

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 442nd Infantry. Place and date: San Terenzo, Italy, 21 April 1945. Birth: 7 September 1924, Honolulu, Hawaii. Entered service at: Honolulu, Hawaii.

Citation: Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

See also


  1. ^ inouye
  2. ^ a b c d Associated Press (Chicago), "Keynoter Knows Sting of Bias, Poverty". St. Petersburg Times, August 27, 1968.
  3. ^ "U.S. Army Center of Military History Medal of Honor Citations Archive". Army Medal of Honor website. August 3, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/wwII-g-l.html. Retrieved January 6, 2010.  
  4. ^ a b Sterner, C. Douglas. "Final Victory - the 442d RCT returns to Italy". <http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/a-medal-of-honor/>. Retrieved 1 NOV 2009.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Leila Salaverria (2009-02-24). "4 US solons as honorary Filipinos". Philippine Daily Inquirer. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20090224-190786/4-US-solons-as-honorary-Filipinos. Retrieved 2009-03-20.  
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ Daniel Inouye, Senate: Awards

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John A. Burns
As Congressional Delegate from Hawaii Territory
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's At-large congressional district

August 21, 1959 – January 3, 1963
Succeeded by
Thomas Ponce Gill
United States Senate
Preceded by
Oren E. Long
United States Senator (Class 3) from Hawaii
1963 – present
Served alongside: Hiram Fong, Spark Matsunaga, Daniel Akaka
Political offices
New title
Committee Created by Church Committee
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Birch Bayh
Preceded by
Mark Andrews
R-North Dakota
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
Succeeded by
John McCain
Preceded by
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
Succeeded by
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Preceded by
Ted Stevens
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
Succeeded by
Jay Rockefeller
D-West Virginia
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
D-West Virginia
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee
2009 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Democratic nominee for United States Senator from Hawaii
(Class 1)

1962, 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004
Succeeded by
Most recent
Preceded by
Frank Moss
Secretary of the Senate Democratic Conference
Succeeded by
David Pryor
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
United States Senator
United States order of precedence
United States Senator
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
United States Senator
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Robert Byrd
D-West Virginia
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Daniel Ken Inouye (born 1924-09-07) is an American politician who has served as United States Senator from Hawaii since 1963.


External links

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Simple English

Daniel Inouye (born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a United States Senator from Hawaii. He is a Japanese American. Since 2010, he is the President pro tempore, a title given to the longest-serving Senator of the party in power. This makes him the highest-ranking Asian American in the history of the United States.

Inouye was an officer in World War II. He served in the 442nd Regiment, one of the most awarded units in American History. He was wounded several times at Colle Musatello (a battle in Italy), and lost an arm. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the war, Inouye studied politics in college. He served in the Hawaii Territorial Legislature in the 1950s. When Hawaii became a state, he was its first Congressman. He has served in the United States Senate since 1963, having being re-elected with large majorities eight times. He has served as the head of several powerful Senate committees, including the Appropriations Committee and the Commerce Committee


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