MAKERS Profile

Mazie Hirono

Senator (D-Hawaii)

In this video

Mazie Hirono, U.S. Senator from Hawaii, shares her story of immigrating to America with her single mother from Japan, learning English, and discovering her knack for politics, first as a campaign manager and eventually as the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate. 
Mazie Hirono currently serves as a United States Senator from Hawaii. She is the first Asian-American woman, the first Buddhist, and the first woman from Hawaii to be elected to the United States Senate.   Born in Fukushima, Japan, Hirono immigrated to Hawaii with her mother at eight years old and without knowing a word of English. In Hawaii, Hirono eventually put herself through the University of Hawaii at Manoa and law school at Georgetown University.   After ten years of running other people's campaigns, Hirono decided it was time to run for office herself. She served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1981 to 1995 and as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii from 1994 to 2002. In 2006, Hirono won the U.S. House of Representative seat for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district, which she re-won for three terms.   In May 2011, Hirono announced her candidacy for open Hawaii U.S. Senate seat. With 63% of the vote, Hirono became the first Asian-born immigrant elected to the Senate.

More From Mazie