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Hiram Fong: A Featured Biography

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Senator Hiram Fong became one of Hawaii’s first two U.S. senators in 1959, upon the state’s admission to the Union. The son of Chinese immigrants, Fong was also the first U.S. senator of Asian ancestry. During his nearly 18 years in the Senate, Fong advocated civil rights and voting rights legislation and immigration reform that sought to prevent discrimination against Asians. Known for his devotion to Hawaii and his constituents, Fong’s state pride can be seen in a 1983 oral history interview with Capitol Police Inspector Leonard Ballard, who fondly remembered pointing out to Senator Fong a pineapple light fixture in the U.S. Capitol.

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