ROBERT MATSUI Biography - Polititians


Biography » polititians » robert matsui


Name: Robert Takeo Matsui                                                               
Born: 17 September 1941 Sacramento, California                                         
Died: 1 January 2005 Bethesda, Maryland                                                 
Robert Takeo Matsui (September 17, 1941 – January 1, 2005) was an                     
American politician from the state of California. Matsui was a member of the           
Democratic Party and served 13 terms (although elected to 14) in the U.S. House         
of Representatives as the congressman for California's 5th congressional               
A third-generation Japanese American, Matsui was born in Sacramento, California,       
and was six months old when he and his family were taken from Sacramento and           
interned by the U.S. government at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in 1942.         
Matsui graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963 with a BA         
in political science, and then graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1966.         
He founded his own Sacramento law practice in 1967.                                     
In 1971 Matsui was elected to the Sacramento City Council. He won re-election           
in 1975 and became vice mayor of the city in 1977. In the 1978 election,               
Matsui ran for the House and won.                                                       
In 1988, Matsui succeeded in helping pass the Japanese-American Redress Act,           
which produced an official apology from the Federal government for the World War       
II internment program and offered token compensation to victims. He was also           
instrumental in the designation of Manzanar internment camp as a national               
historic site and in obtaining land in Washington, D.C. for the memorial to             
Japanese-American patriotism in World War II.                                           
He was a chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, ranking           
member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, and third-ranking         
Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee. During his term he was noted for his         
staunch opposition to privatization of Social Security. He had a mostly liberal         
voting record having opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, the ban on partial-birth     
abortions, and the Private Securities and Litigations Reform Act.                       
In the 2004 federal election, he faced Republican Mike Dugas as his strongest           
opponent in the general election for the 5th congressional district. Matsui was         
re-elected to office with 71.4% of the vote, compared to Dugas' 23.4%. Green           
Party opponent Pat Driscoll and John Reiger of the Peace and Freedom Party won 3.4%     
and 1.8% of the vote, respectively. (DCCC chairs are chosen in part because             
they are not expected to face serious competition for re-election.)                     
He was married to the former Doris Okada, who is senior advisor and director of         
government relations at the firm of Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC. Until December         
1998, Doris Matsui worked as deputy assistant to the President and Deputy               
Director of Public Liaison for President Bill Clinton. The Matsuis had one son,         
Brian, who received his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.         
Matsui entered Bethesda Naval Hospital on December 24, 2004 with pneumonia.             
It was a complication from Myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare stem cell disorder         
that causes an inability of the bone marrow to produce blood products, such as         
red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. He died on January 1, 2005, at       
10:10 p.m. EDT.