May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Here is a list of some famous Asian Americans and their accomplishments.

Duke Kahanamoku – Olympic Medal Swimmer and International Surfer

Dr. Feng Shan Ho – Chinese American Diplomat who saved thousands of Austrian Jews’ lives during the Holocaust

Dalip Singh Saund – First Asian American elected to Congress in 1956.

Chinese Laborers built Central Pacific Railroad Line which was the most dangerous part.

Steven Chu – Built an Instrument to Measure Gravity and is a Pulitzer Prize Winner

Yo-Yo Ma – one of the World’s Greatest Musicians

Maya Lin – a Monumental Architect she Designed the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Amy Tan – Famous Writer

Jerry Yang – Created the Yahoo! Directory

Michelle Kwan – World Figure Skating Champion

Patsy Takemoto Mink  - The first female Asian American elected to Congress was elected in 1964 as a representative from Hawaii.

Hiram Fong – First Asian American U.S. senator: 1959, one of Hawaii's first two senators.

Herbert Choy –  First Asian American Federal Court Judge in 1971 appointed to the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.

Julia Chang Bloch – First Asian American U.S. ambassador, appointed to the Kingdom of Nepal in 1989.

George R. Ariyoshi – First Asian American Governor in1974, governor of Hawaii. The first on the mainland was Gary Locke, elected governor of Washington in 1996.

Norman Yoshio Mineta – First Asian American Mayor of a major U.S. city: 1971, in San Jose, California. First Asian American Member of presidential cabinet: 2000, appointed secretary of commerce. In 2001, he became the first cabinet member to switch directly from a Democratic to Republican cabinet—becoming secretary of transportation—and the only Democrat in George W. Bush's cabinet.

Elaine Chao – The first female Asian-American cabinet member was, appointed secretary of labor in 2001.

Ellison Onizuka – First Asian American Astronaut (in space):, first spaceflight in 1985. Died in the 1986 Challenger disaster.

 

Asian-American Firsts: Science and Medicine

Flossie Wong-Staal – Cloned the AIDS virus in 1984.

Haing Ngor – First Asian American Academy Award winner:, Best Supporting Actor of 1984 for his role in The Killing Fields

Ken Kashiwahara and Connie Chung – First Asian American network news reporters:, 1974. In 1993, Chung became the first Asian American to be a nightly news anchor for a major network (CBS).

Eugene Chung – First Asian American selected in the first round of NFL draft:, 1992, selected by New England.

Linda Thompson

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