Daniel Kahikina Akaka (September 11, 1924 – April 6, 2018) was an American educator and politician who served as a United States Senator from Hawaii from 1990 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Akaka was the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry.Born in Honolulu, he served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He attended the University of Hawaii, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees. Originally a high school teacher, Akaka went on to serve as a principal for six years. In 1969, the Department of Education hired him as a chief program planner. In the 1970s, he served in various governmental positions. Akaka was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1976 to represent Hawaii's 2nd congressional district; he served for 13 years. In 1990, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate to succeed the deceased Spark Matsunaga, subsequently winning the special election to complete Matsunaga's term. He would later be reelected to three full terms. In March 2011, he announced he would not run for reelection in 2012.After fellow U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye died on December 17, 2012, Akaka became the state's senior senator for 2 weeks until he left office on January 3, 2013. He was succeeded by fellow Democrat Mazie Hirono.
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