April 6, 2018
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2011 file photo then-Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, the humble and gracious statesman who served in Washington with aloha for more than three and a half decades, died Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the age of 93, sources tell the Star-Advertiser. He had been hospitalized with an illness. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, file)HONOLULU (AP) — Former Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka, the first Native Hawaiian elected to Congress who served for more than three decades, died Friday. He was 93.
Akaka died in Honolulu after being hospitalized for several months, said Jon Yoshimura, the senator’s former communications director.
The Democrat served 14 years in the U.S. House before he was appointed to replace Sen. Spark Matsunaga, who died of cancer in spring 1990. Akaka won election that fall for the rest of Matsunaga’s term, and voters sent him back for consecutive terms until 2012, when he chose not to seek re-election.
His legislative style was described as low-key, a characterization he embraced.
“I have a Hawaiian style of dealing with my colleagues,” he said.
Akaka developed a reputation as a congenial legislator who made many friends while making few waves in pressing the interests of the 50th state.
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