Born Nov. 12, 1931, to Japanese immigrant parents Kunisaku Mineta and Kane Watanabe, he and his family were interned near Cody, Wyoming during World War II. There he met and became lifelong friends with Alan Simpson, who went on to become a U.S. Senator. Mineta subsequently attended the University of California, Berkeley's School of Business Administration and then joined the U.S. Army, serving as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea. Mineta was later to rise up through politics, becoming councilman and then mayor of San Jose, California—the first Asian American to lead a major U.S. city—and ultimately was elected to the Congress in 1974. A Representative from California; born in San Jose, Santa Clara County, Calif., November 12, 1931; attended public schools in San Jose, Heart Mountain, Wyo., and Evanston, Ill.; graduated, San Jose High School, San Jose, Calif., 1949; B.S., University of California, Berkeley, 1953; insurance business; served in the United States Army, 1953-1956; member of San Jose (Calif.) human relations commission, 1962-1964; member of the board of directors, San Jose (Calif.) housing authority, 1966-1967; San Jose, Calif., city councilman, 1967-1971; vice mayor of San Jose, Calif., 1968-1971; mayor, San Jose, Calif., 1971-1974; delegate to the California State Democratic conventions, 1971-1974; delegate to the Democratic National Convention, 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth Congress and to the ten succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1975-October 10, 1995); resigned October 10, 1995; chairman, Committee on Public Works and Transportation (One Hundred Third Congress); Secretary of Commerce in the Cabinet of President William J. Clinton, 2000-2001; Secretary of Transportation in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush, 2001-2006.