Presidential Cabinet Secretary, US Congressman. He served as both the 33rd Secretary of Commerce from July 20, 2000 to January 20, 2001 and the 14th Secretary of Transportation from January 25, 2001 to July 7, 2006. He also served in the United States House of Representatives from both the 13th and 15th districts of California from January 3, 1975 to October 10, 1995. As a young boy, his family was interned during the Second World War at the Heart Mountain internment camp near Cody, Wyoming. After the war, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Later, he served in the United States Army as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea. After his military service, he joined his father's insurance business. In 1967, he was appointed to a vacant seat on the San Jose (California) City Council and went on serve on the council for four years. In 1971, he ran for the position of Mayor of San Jose and was successful. He went on to serve for four years before stepping down in 1975. In 1974, he, as a Democrat, decided to seek a seat in the United States House of Representatives and was successful in the November general election. His tenure in the House would last twenty years before he stepped down in 1995, after he accepted a position with Lockheed Martin. During his House tenure, he served as chairman of the House Transportation Committee and was a key author of the 1991 landmark Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. In 2000, he was appointed to serve as Secretary of Commerce under President William J. Clinton and served in this post until January 20, 2001. When President George W. Bush took office in January of 2001, he was appointed to serve as Secretary of Transportation. He served as Secretary of Transportation for the next five years before stepping down in 2006 to take a position at Hill & Knowlton. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He would continue to serve in various corporate and advisory positions for the remainder of his career.
Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye