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The Honolulu Advertiser

A tribute to Hiram Fong

 •  Hiram Fong dead at 97

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Hiram Leong Fong, the first Asian-American elected to the U.S. Senate, died at St. Francis Medical Center. See story.

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Former U.S. Sen. Hiram Leong Fong — lawyer, entrepreneur, tycoon and statesman under five American presidents from Eisenhower to Ford — died at the age of 97 after an epic life rich in fortune and drama.

Fong was a Republican who won the hearts and votes of Democratic-dominated Hawai'i to become America's first Asian-American U.S. senator; a father of four whose final years became entangled in a hurtful legal feud with his youngest son; a self-made millionaire several times over who watched his financial empire collapse into bankruptcy.

Share your condolences and memories below.

[Posted on November 18, 2004 at 6:47 am HST]
I would like to offer my deepest sympathy and prayers to the Fong family. Let me also take this chance to express my gratitude for Sen. Fong's dedicated service to our country and to the Asian Community. Truly, he is one leader I would like to emulate.
Enrique M. Camaddo (FAPAC)
Concord, California

[Posted on September 14, 2004 at 6:02 pm HST]
My deepest condolences to the Fong family. I am very grateful to Sen. Fong as I believe I was his last appointment to the USAF Academy in 1976. He gave me an invaluable opportunity and I hope I did not disappointment him and his efforts for the betterment of our citizens and minorities. I finished my obligation to our country, retiring after 20 years in the USAF and serving as a test pilot. I continue to fly for Boeing and hope we will continue to maintain our country's leadership in aerospace. Thank you again Senator Fong for inspiring and leading with example. You truly were a leader ahead of your time. I am forever grateful.
Keith Otsuka
Renton, WA

[Posted on August 29, 2004 at 11:44 pm HST]
Uncle Hiram was my grandfather's brother. Growing up, we would visit him and Auntie Ellyn at their "country house" or the "valley house" for parties. Even though he must have had a lot of relatives visit, he always welcomed us graciously and kindly, which made us feel special. When we'd see him at his office, he would stop and say hello. When I was in elementary school, Uncle Hiram encouraged my parents, Clarence and Cynthia Fong, to attend First Chinese Church, where I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, a decision I am very thankful for. I have been living away from Hawaii for many years, but it is a part of my heart. Uncle Hiram was part of that fondness and foundation. Thank you, sir. God's blessings to Auntie Ellyn and family. May the Lord's peace and Presence be with you.
Liana Fong Sandefur
Bellevue, Washington

[Posted on August 29, 2004 at 7:13 pm HST]
To the Fong family, My condolences on the death of your father Senator Hiram Fong. I have the priviledge of taking care of your father at the hemocenter unit. He was a very humble man and i was amazed to read his accomplishments.He has done so much for Hawaii and I'm very sure that his legacy lives on.He was a good example for all of us.I hope and pray that his children will follow his footsteps.May God Bless you all during this time of sorrow.God will give you the strength. Condolence, Angelina Lopez Hemocenter staff
Angelina Lopez
St.Francis employee

[Posted on August 28, 2004 at 4:29 pm HST]
I was saddened to read about the passing of Senator Fong. I was born and raised in Hawaii and when I lived there many years ago, I had an encounter with Sen. Fong at the Oceania Restaurant while I entertained visitors from the mainland. They could not beleive how gracious and approachable he was. He must have spent 15 minutes of his busy schedule making them feel welcome. He truly was an ambassador.
Rachel Sheldon
San Luis Obispo, CA

[Posted on August 28, 2004 at 1:30 pm HST]
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Senator Fong. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occaisions all of which were out at his plantation. Each time I spoke with him he was always digging in the dirt planting something. I did not know who he was the first couple of times I spoke with him and when I found out I was so delighted at his obvious love and respect for the Aina. There was something very special about him, of that I knew instantly. His soul shined. I loved the sparkle in his eyes. A beautiful being, whom I am so honored to have met. Most heartfelt and deepest condolences to the family.
Clover Johnson
Santa Fe, New Mexico -Formerly Kailua, Hawaii

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 2:55 pm HST]
As I was growing up, my uncle was a utmost supporter of Mr. Fong, he used to gather all of us kids in Waipahu Town to help him waved signs on the highway, my uncle now deceased Mr. John Villanueva a Oahu Sugar Union Leader was a democrat, but loved,adored and supported Mr. Fong, it was way back in the sixties, we got to meet with Mr. Fong, he was a great support and help to all the Oahu Sugar workers, and did alot for the Waipahu Area, he will be greatly missed. A man which will honored and greatly respected. Our condolences goes out to the family. Aloha and God Bless you all.
R.Tomas
Waipahu

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 2:19 pm HST]
I just got through reading the touching stories and memories of many people that have had the priviledge to have met a great example to all, the legendary late Senator Hiram Fong. Unfortunately, I never met him. Perhaps, in heaven when my time comes. Until then, I will write it on my "to do" list to visit Senator Fong's Plantation, on my next visit back home to Honolulu, godwilling next year...Sending my deepest sympathy to his wife and family and his close friends. May God of all comfort place His healing Hands upon your aching hearts today and the days to come. May the late Senator Fong's great memories he left behind put a smile in your heart as time goes by...Time Heals. Sending you my love, prayer and Aloha, Rose Banda Brombacher Blackforest, Germany
Rose B. Brombacher
Germany

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 11:58 am HST]
Our deepest condolences to the Fong Ohana. Thank you to the Senator for all that he has done for my family the community and the society in whole. You will be greatly missed. My family has had the privilege to get to know the Fongs and spend time with them. Kahaluu is a small town and we all pretty much know each other, but for those of us who got to know the Senator personally, we can say he was a man of true grace in everything that he did. His accomplishments were far and great and his legacy will live on . Aloha Senator Fong and Mahalo from all of Kahaluu. From my family to yours Me Ke Aloha Pumehana
Alison, AJ and Acacia
Kahaluu

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 10:52 am HST]
When the rain is gently falling in Kahalu'u, You know that Senator Fong must be tending to his beloved gardens. Thank you for the great legacy you have planted in the beautiful garden that is the State of Hawaii. Our humble respects to Senator Fong as he lies in state today. On behalf of our entire family, farewell & aloha.
V. Spreier
San Mateo, CA

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 10:24 am HST]
I had the privilege of meeting Hiram Fong, although it occurred just a few years ago. As much as I thought he was a great man then, I find that his life is a display of perserverence, strength and accomplishments that really dwarf this notion. He is a legend to Hawaii and the children of Hawaii.
Wilt Watanabe
Hilo

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 9:49 am HST]
Our sincerest condelences to Sen Fong's Family. He truly epitomized what it is to be an American where everyone can be whatever you want to become no matter how poor you started. We came from similar stock and my parents always regarded him as a role model. We always felt special receiving a Christmas card from him and his family or a hello from him as we passed each other on the street. He never forgot friends he made along the way. He will truly be missed but fondly remembered as a friend and a role model. Me Ke aloha pumehana.
Austin Fern, Sesnita Moepono & Monita Moepono Brown
Kapalama Heights

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 9:41 am HST]
Farewell to the Honorable Hiram L. Fong! I just read the magnificent write up about the State funeral for the Senator. My wife Jennie and I, though we cannot be the service in person, do feel deeply the sorrow of the occasion. The legacy of Hiram Fong is legion. All immigrants owe him a huge Aloha for what he did as a Senator. All military personnel, active, retired, and of all components, regular, guard and reserve, shall remember that Fong was their champion and protector - especially when he knocked out the provision in the defense appropriations bill passed by the House that would have added another 5% surcharge to the 5% already in effect. Our deepest sympathy to Ellyn, Jr., Merie Ellen and Marvin, children and grandchildren. The Republican Convention should not miss this opportunity to pay tribute to this great Republican. Kenneth and Jennie Wu
LTC (Ret) Kenneth Wu, USA
527 Gladhill Road, Odenton, MD 21113-1910

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 9:36 am HST]
Farewell Hiram Fong. All your good deeds and services to the people will be remembered and written on the pages of history and, told to many.
L. Yee Hoy
Kailua

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 9:26 am HST]
I'm sadden to hear the news of Senator Fong's passing. I'm from Hawaii and relocated to San Francisco, California due to a job, 21 years ago. While growing up in Hawaii, am now 51 yrs, I remember all the great things that Senator Fong has done for Hawaii. What a kind gentleman he was. I know he will be missed dearly... My condolensces to his family. Aloha, Nina Otsuka
nina otsuka
San Francisco, CA

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 8:10 am HST]
Thank You, Mr. Fong for being the first Asian-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate. May the younger Asian-American generation continue to be inspired and follow your footstep in leading our Country for a better tomorrow.
From Michael Nomura
Kailua, HI.

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 5:20 am HST]
My father, Ralph Hagen, and I were loyal Republicans who admired Hiram and were fortunate to serve with him at two Republican Conventions in 1968 and 1972. Although Dad has passed away, I know that he would want to send his best wishes as well to the family. Sally Schmid
Sally Schmid
Delray Beach, FL

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 4:25 am HST]
We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Senator Fong.I was born and raised on Oahu,and my family still lives there!Senator Fong was a great man and will live in our hearts and our memories.Our sincere condolences to his family. God be with you.Aloha
BJ Fick
MI

[Posted on August 27, 2004 at 4:11 am HST]
To the family of Senator Hiram Fong: Auwe! Auwe! A great man, a great warrior is gone. I remember holding signs and handing out campaign literature for Senator Fong when I was a kid. Senator Fong did much for the people of Hawaii and all Asian Americans. Even though my parents were both strong Democrates they were fans of Senator Fong. Rest in peace Senator Fong you have fought your battles and have won. Hawaii is a better place and you will be missed. Me ke aloha.....Lee Laquihon. Bellevue, Nebraska
Lee Laquihon
Bellevue, Nebraska

[Posted on August 26, 2004 at 4:56 pm HST]
Our family remembered Senator Fong as always being a strong supporter for the Palolo Chinese Home which was founded to care for the aged who were indigent. My father Rene Choy Kee Hu, as the administrator of the Home, considered Senator Fong a good friend. I remember Senator Fong visiting the Home regularly and giving his support over the years to my father and to the elderly residents there. Our family sends our heartfelt condolences to the Fong Family.
Joseph Hu
Honolulu

[Posted on August 26, 2004 at 1:53 pm HST]
A golden heart stopped beating, Hard-working hands to rest, God once more proves to us That He only takes the Best. U.S. Senator Hiram Fong will be remembered and honored by all who knew and were helped by him. the Kwantung Lin Yee Hui Society wants to extend their deepest sympathies to his family at this time and to wish them God's Blessings and Comfort. Much Aloha and Love...
Lei Ahu Isa, President of Kwangtung Li n Yee Hui Society
Liliha/Nu'uanu, HI

[Posted on August 26, 2004 at 8:13 am HST]
On behalf of one of the oldest Asian American civil rights organizations, I express the condolences of our members to the family of Senator Hiram Fong. Senator Fong will be remembered as an inspiration for Asian Americans and for his advocacy for civil rights legislation, immigration reform and the elimination of discrimination against Asian Pacific peoples. The Senator was seminal in creating political consciousness across Chinese America. Undoubtedly, the Senatorís political success planted the seed of possibility for public service in the minds of generations of aspirants, not only in the Aloha State, but also on the Mainland. His winning personality aided in breaking down cultural barriers and helped cultivate acceptance of minorities in the political and public policy arenas. His will be a lasting legacy for generations to come. Saykin Foo Grand (National) President Chinese American Citizens Alliance San Francisco, CA 323-660-9797
Saykin Foo
Los Angeles, CA

[Posted on August 26, 2004 at 6:48 am HST]
In the summer of '61 my father took my brother and I to the East Coast for a vacation. Sen. Fong personally arranged an "inside" look at the Capitol for us. How well I remember that red carnation lei he would always wear. What a fine man he was. He is at peace now along with Dad...may God Bless him for all eternity.
Mark Pinkerton
Portland, OR

[Posted on August 25, 2004 at 6:22 pm HST]
The story of a very intimate relationship has been related through my family's oral history. My paternal grandfather, Kwock Lum, worked at the same sugar plantation as Sen. Hiram Fong's father. My grandmother had to ride horseback to visit Senator Fong's mother, who was the closest chinese-speaking woman in the area. The two women helped each other during their childbirths. Joan Sung Grand Executive Chinese American Citizens Alliance San Francisco
Joan Sung
San Rafael, CA

[Posted on August 25, 2004 at 5:32 pm HST]
I recall that Hiram attended one of our Chinese American Citizens Alliance biennial conventions but which one I cannot recall. When I was introduced to him as Paul Hu during our conversations, he asked if I knew Wai Kee Hu. That's my dad! was my response. It turned out that he had been a family friend for many years in Honolulu during my grandparentsí days. I believe that George Leong Suey, then Executive Director, also asked him to help start a Honolulu lodge. Perhaps that when I met him. Paul K.J. Hu 1st Grand (National) Vice President Chinese American Citizens Alliance
Paul K.J. Hu
San Francisco, CA

[Posted on August 25, 2004 at 4:10 pm HST]
Senator Fong was such an inspiration for the Chinese American people, and especially those of us from Hawaii. Our deepest sympathy to your family on your loss from the Lung Doo Kong Tow Society, Sharron Hoo, President; Wai Inn Hu, Vice-President, Officers, Directors and Members. God Bless and Aloha Senator Fong!!!
Sharron Hoo
Mililani Town, HI

[Posted on August 25, 2004 at 7:04 am HST]
My Deepest condolense to your family. Hope you can rest in peace in a better place where my dad , lin Dai leong whom you helped him to bring us here as immigrant years ago, will chance to chat with you like old time. You will be greatly missed by many.
Edwin Leong
Village Park

[Posted on August 25, 2004 at 5:38 am HST]
Senator Fong will be fondly remember and honored by my family. He remains an inspiration for many immigrants who desire to build a richer life in the U.S. As the first Asian American Senator, he was personally instrumental in allowing my immigrant parents to remain in the States. For this, we are very grateful. Our sincere condolences to his wife and family.
Elsa Kuo Malcolm
Lima, Ohio

[Posted on August 24, 2004 at 12:06 am HST]
I knew Senator Fong and respected him very highly. He was outgoing and despite achieving high position in life, remembered where he came from. He was never unapproachable and was always delighted when anyone recognized him. He was incredibly knowledgeable and sharp as a tack even in failing health. We should honor him for all that he accomplished in improving civil rights and immigration policies. Aloha, Senator Fong.
lynne chang
somerville, ma

[Posted on August 23, 2004 at 1:01 pm HST]
Our Deepest Sympathy Kuo Min Tang Society of Hawaii Sue Jean Chun, President Karl Chao, VP Robert Hsiao, VP Officers & Members
Kuo Min Tang Society
Cultural Plaza

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 8:31 pm HST]
Mahalo a nui loa, Senator Hiram Fong, for all you did for the people of Hawaii. My parents often talked about the work you did and the life you built from nothing. I am also an island girl and have taken several trips into the Hiram Fong Plantation in Kahaluu, Oahu. This is just another way you gave to the people of Hawaii and the world. You leave a legacy of aloha. God speed.
Dancette Iuli
Wuerzburg, Germany

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 6:43 pm HST]
In an earlier comment, there was an error that my wife Jennie and I were guests of Senator and Mrs. Hiram L. Fong at the Finance Factors Annual Christmas Gala at the Hale Koa in 2004. It should have read 2003. He was frail in December 2003. But his keynote speech was strong, vibrant, and inspirational. He told the 400 plus Finance Factors staff and family in attendance that he would live for many more years! His penmanship was classic, as witness his signatures on correspondence with his constituents. He told me that when he first went to work as a draftsman his forman told him his handwriting needed improvement. Hiram drilled assiduously mastering beautiful writing style - firm, legible and with rich flourish. All young Americans should learn more about this great and wise man - a great mentor and role model. Now gone but we shall all remember him with reverence, admiration and fond Alohas. Kenneth Wu, LTC (Ret) USA 527 Gladhill Road, Odenton, MD 21113-1910 Tel/Fax: (410) 674-8277, E-mail: kenwu55@comcast.net
LTC Kenneth Wu (Ret), USA
527 Gladhill Rd, Odenton, MD 21113-1910

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 5:40 pm HST]
I was privileged to be on the staff of Senator Hiram L. Fong in 1976. He was always compassionate, gracious and loyal. I accompanied him to New York city as he made his farewell visit to the Chinese community. A journalist asked him who was his best friend during his tenure as the senior senator of Hawaii. Without hesitation he said "President Richard Nixon" and to a follow up question as to why, Senator Fong said that he was met by then Vice President Nixon when he and Mrs. Fong first arrived at Washington, DC. Senator Fong told me later he always remained faithful to his friends even when adverse circumstances obtained. The Senator had many close friends - Republican and Democrat. A great statesman and Senator. I salute you Sir. Aloha. Kenneth and Jennie Wu kenwu55@comcast.net
Lieutenenant Colonel Kenneth Wu (Ret), USA
527 Gladhill Road, Odenton, MD 21113-1910

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 4:50 pm HST]
I was lelgislative assistant to Senator Hiram L. Fong in 1976. A defense appropriations bill passed by the House added a 5% surcharge for commissary patrons for personnel on top of the 5% surcharge already in effect for construction. Senator Fong succeeded in his Senate floor amendment to delete the additional charge. Otherwise military personnel would have to pay a 10% surcharge which would have wiped out the commissary system. He always took care of funding for the Guam ship repair facilities and for the strategically vital defense programs of Hawaii and our nation. My wife Jennie and I were guests of the Senator and Mrs. Fong at the Finance Factors annual Christmas gala at the Hale Koa when we visited Hawaii in 2004. His passing is an utter and irretrievable chasm of loss which can never be bridged by words of condolence no matter how eloquent. Nevertheless the Wu family extends our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Fong and family. Aloha Senator Hiram. Kenneth and Jennie Wu
Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Kenneth Wu (Ret), USA
527 Gladhill Rd, Odenton, MD 21113-1910

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 3:21 pm HST]
Senator Hiram Fong was one of the greatest men that I have had the opportunity to meet. A man of inspiration, work ethics, and integrity. He will be missed by many.
Richard Ro
Honolulu

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 2:22 pm HST]
I was too young to remember how my family knows the Fong family. As a child, the only memories I have are of our horses who were kept on Hiram Fong's property in Kahaluu. My brother & I would come to visit the horses. I send my farewell to a man who was very important to the islands.
Sheryl Kiyono
Grandview, Missouri

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 1:11 pm HST]
One of the greatest principles in life is the principle of forgiveness. As in this case between father and son. We all know that life is too short to qualm over the little things even at 97 years. To forgive and be forgiven makes this great leader of men, women and children a GIANT with a humbled heart of a child. Great things can only come from these humbled beginnings. One of these great things is peace. Peace in your spirit, peace in your heart. We are grateful for the pioneering spirit of Senator Fong in his breaking down the many barriers in the political arena of the past so we are afforded our voice in the halls of Washington DC today. Today a boy from Laie and a Kahuku grad walks these halls of Congress, my brother Eni. Also, from humbled beginnings... Peace be your journey. AEH
A. E. Hunkin
Po'ohaili St., La'ie\ Las Vegas

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 1:05 pm HST]
I never met Hiram Fong, but from the outpouring of affection and praise, I can only gather that he was a very warm hearted person. I think that is the key to his legacy; insprire others to do their best by encouraging and setting an example. Of course this is easier said than done, but Hiram Fong lived it daily. Godspeed.
Paul Christian Jenkins
UH Manoa

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 12:59 pm HST]
It was my pleasure as a member of the Capital staff of U.S. Senator Oren E. Long more than four decades ago to meet and work with Senator Fong in Washington, D.C. and I remember well his tireless efforts to enrich our state and her citizens. In later years, as a Hawaiian State Senator, I cherish our meetings and benefited from his wisdom. My heart and prayers go out to Junior and the rest of the Fong family.
Francis A. Wong
Indian Wells, CA

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 12:44 pm HST]
Sorryl to hear about your lost. Our prayers are with you. I am a former Honolulu resident who use to champainge for Mr Fong when I was a little girl. I remember holding signs for him and James Aki. Take care and God Bless.
Teresa Johnson
1836 Clay Street Fairfield, Ca 94533

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 12:35 pm HST]
Hawaii has lost a truly great man. Senator Fong exemplified public service. Our sincere condolences to his family & the State of Hawaii. May he rest in peace.
Vera S.
San Mateo, CA

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 11:40 am HST]
As friend of Mr. Fong's summer house caretaker Paul Seibert, a Navy Corpsman stationed at Kaneohe MCAS, I still remember the first time I met Senator Fong in 1970's and how kind he was and how he made me feel like a friend. I have always felt that Hiram was the best thing to happen to Hawaii Goverment and to the Hawaiian people. I join both his family and the people of hawaii in sharing both the grief and the pride of having known him. My prayers go out to his family and may God grant him comfort and peace forever. Mahalo and Aloha. Liki777@Yahoo.com
Richard "Liki" Grant
Tempe, Arizona

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 11:40 am HST]
As friend of Mr. Fong's summer house caretaker Paul Seibert, a Navy Corpsman stationed at Kaneohe MCAS, I still remember the first time I met Senator Fong in 1970's and how kind he was and how he made me feel like a friend. I have always felt that Hiram was the best thing to happen to Hawaii Goverment and to the Hawaiian people. I join both his family and the people of hawaii in sharing both the grief and the pride of having known him. My prayers go out to his family and may God grant him comfort and peace forever. Mahalo and Aloha. Liki777@Yahoo.com
Richard "Liki" Grant
Tempe, Arizona

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 10:38 am HST]
Mr.Fong was a great man who lived a life from "rags to riches". He helped open the doors to other Asian Americans for better opportunities in this country. He has been an inspiration to others especially the people of Hawaii. I was fortunate to meet with him twice in person. He seemed very humble and friendly. I have a photo that I took with Mr. Fong in 1987 and in 2001. It will be cherished forever. When my children grow older I will talk to them about this man of how he started from humble beginnings and ended up one of the most powerful and influencial men from Hawaii.
Darren Fong (No relationship)
U.S. Army (Camp Zama, Japan)

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 10:20 am HST]
My deepest symphaty and Aloha. Mr. Fong was a hero in my grandma's eyes. My grandmother passed away in 1992 and I can remember during the the voting years, granny used to work at the Waiahole polling station. She herself an icon in her own right, would be right there for Mr. Fong. I write this in memory of my granny. She would have done the same if she were still here. I still remember the openings of the legislature parties and hoopla. Thank you Mr. Fong for letting me grow up with you and for all the goodness you have done for the state of Hawaii, you will surely be missed by all who knew you. I'm confident you are with granny now enjoying the parties and hoopla that heaven has to offer. Aloha, Ola (in memory of Lorna Ping En Ho Mc Dougall)
Ola Mauliola
Kahaluu

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 8:57 am HST]
As a transplanted local living in California, I read the Advertiser on line every day. Today, I was saddened to see Senator Fong passed away. My best to the surviving family. My father (Chick Allen) was the Harbor Master at Ala Wai until his death in 1963. I remeber him visiting with and talking to the Senator who had time to talk to a kid who I rember as a very good person. Aloha, Jay
Jay Allen
Costa Mesa, CA

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 8:05 am HST]
I remember my Mom, Grace, staying up all night & huddling by the radio to hear the election results! Boy those days of campaigning w/baseball political cards, stew 'n rice rallies w/great crowds-men in their papale and children running around, and planning luaus at his Kahulu'u pond are good time memories. Hiram Fong exemplified lokahi and lived a life of pono. He taught by example and set the highest educational standard for our 'opio to aspire to. He put education first and that's what we can pass on to our children. Kind, tanned and accomplished, Uncle Hiram remains my hero.
girlie kaakua
waimanalo, Hawai'i

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 5:52 am HST]
I was so saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Fong. Growing up in Hawaii, he symbolized all the goodness and aloha of our state, and made such a difference in so many lives. How blessed we were to have such a man serve us for so long, and give so much. May he continue to inspire to serve with honor and compassion to all our elected leaders. Me ke aloha pumehana to his family. You must be so proud to be part of his legacy.
Maile Lakely
San Diego, CA

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 2:54 am HST]
I remember learning about Senator Fong while I was a student at Damien. The trailblazing he did for Asian Americans and all of Hawaii was truly inspiring.
Andrew Tamanaha
Richland Hills, TX

[Posted on August 22, 2004 at 2:47 am HST]
As a former kamaaina since the 1930s but now settled in a retirement home in Colorado, I wish the family and friends of U.S. Senator Fong my deepest sympathies. He was a well respected and great person...always looking out for the interests of the residents of Hawaii.
Albert L. Martin, PhD
5820 Flintridge Dr, Apt 305, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 7:54 pm HST]
As a young man, I remeber when you served in the Territorial Legislature, with my Grandfather, MG Paschoal from Maui. Hawaii will miss you very much, The 50th State, Paradise of the Pacific, will miss you very much, and always be thankful of your accomplishments, I know I am, and so in behalf of the family of the late MG Paschoal, I say Mahalo for all of your work for the people of Hawaii. Aloha, Joseph F.(Joe)Xavier Jr. Aloha, Joe Xavier
Joseph F. Xavier Jr.
913 Lillie Circle, Flroence, Oregon, 97439

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 6:45 pm HST]
Mahalo for giving of yourself to our community and our island of O'ahu. Because of people like yourself, the island of O'ahu thrives.
Debbie L. Jardine
Kuliouou

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 12:49 pm HST]
August 21, 2004 Senator Hiram Fong is an inspiration to Chinese Americans all over the nation. His Horatio Alger success story stands as a beacon of the American dream. Politically, he was productive as a leading Hawaii legislator on the territorial and federal levels. We met briefly at a UH Manoa summer session lecture presentation during the Bicentennial of Chinese Immigration to Hawaii festivities. Today, we do not mark his death. Instead, we celebrate his remarkable life of public service and business acumen. Aloha. Seattle Mike, native of Hawaii
Mike G. H. Chun
Seattle, Washington

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 12:32 pm HST]
Condolences out to the family. May God Bless you and be with you during this time of sorrow. I will never forget the many great principles he fought for in office and his personal life to make our lives better.
Blair and Jodie Cole
Honolulu

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 12:26 pm HST]
Senator Fong is an inspiration to all. Thank you for being one of the very few good men that had served Hawaii. God Bless You for you are in a place where all good things happen. Our condolences to his family.
Horacio and Melody Bustos
Hawai'i Kai

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 12:01 pm HST]
Hiram Fong was instrumental in getting Edward E. Johnston, former Chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party, appointed as High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands after Richard Nixon became President. That led, indirectly, to my being employed during Johnston's administration as a Public Information Specialist based on Saipan, working with former Hawaiians like Jim Manke and Mike Ashman. I've lived out in this part of the Pacific ever since, always remembering that the late Senator Fong played a part in my locating here. There are many on Guam and Saipan who will remember him and mourn his passing. Aloha to his family.
Jon Anderson
Guam

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 11:29 am HST]
Mr. Fong was the first Hawaiian politician on a national level that I heard of when I was a boy. His story is truly a sucess story of hard work by a good man that made him loved both in the Islands worldwide. Mahalo for all you did to help Hawaii and America in your lifetime!
Keoki Vavasseur
Louisiana

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 10:51 am HST]
THANK YOU TO A GREAT MAN WHO SERVED HAWAII AND THE NATION WELL.
MARK K.
SAN FRANCISCO

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 10:22 am HST]
There were many opportunities of meeting with Senator Fong, whether it was a board of directors meeting, a chinese dinner, or his garden. He always presented himself with this "Can Do" attitude that grew on everyone around him. He is held with the upmost respect but was a very approachable person. Proudly speaking of his service to the people of Hawaii or of his garden which I visited while he was there. Hawaii will deeply miss this "icon" of Hawaii.
Wes Kam
Kalihi

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 10:01 am HST]
Sen. Fong changed my life in 1972 when he appointed me (a Roosevelt HS senior) to the US Naval Academy. My parents had not money for college and no political connections. Sen Fong was one of the first to use the competitive system for granting appointments. His faith in me resulted in 30+ years of service to our Country and gave me a superb education, changing my life.
randy schmitt
1944 Wilhelmina Rise, Honolulu 96816

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 9:51 am HST]
Many thanks for the wonderful things you did for the state of Hawaii.
Dolores
Hauula

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 8:49 am HST]
Dear Family of the late Senator Fong, Thank you for the legacy and life example that Senator Fong set for people of all backgrounds to emulate! I will always remember how the senator came to my late parents' funerals in 1981(mother, Lily Yap) and 1987 (father, Henry Yap). I know he knew them from McKinley High days and from First Chinese Church of Christ. Senator Fong was a man who worked with world leaders but never lost the common touch! Bless you always Uncle Hiram! With Deepest Sympathy and Fond Remembrance, Richard Yap
Richard Yap
Aiea, Hawaii

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 7:10 am HST]
Senator Fong was my mother's hero. Working downtown at one of his relative's pharmacy she observed how he treated everyone rich or poor alike. He grew up poor but working hard like many people of his age group he accomplished great things. They may not have gotten great financial gain like him but they were so proud of him. My Mom insisted that she put her savings in Finance Factors because of Hiram Fong. She trusted him to take care of her MONEY. It is too bad that some of his children gave him such sorrow in his declining years. The only thing we owe our children is a good education. If they want anything they should earn it. We should not spoil our children. May the Senator find peace in heaven being united with his family.
Jane H. Yano
1555 B Meyers Street

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 7:05 am HST]
While working with a small technology company in 1974, I appealled to Senator Fong's office for assistance in bidding a consulting job in Tanzania. I was invited to Washington DC where I met Senator Fong. He assigned an aide to assist me and provided office space for several days while I prepared a bid. We won the work after competing with a national firm and created four new jobs for the two year assignment. Senator Fong was truly a supporter of small business.
Fred Lins
Honolulu

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 6:11 am HST]
I know I disappointed him at times, but he was understanding, and always seemed to care. He barely knew me, yet was always glad to see me. One of my fondest memories is eating soursop sherbet with his family in Ka'alaea. He loved his plants, each and every one, even the weeds. Perhaps in his mind there were no weeds. He was the same with people. He was proud to be an American, and seemed to make a place for all of us, even me. He tried to help when he could. He lived by certain principles: Work hard. Do your best. Do what is right. Treat others with respect. He led by example. He was sincere. He loved his wife and children. We will all miss him.
Buddy Neller
Ellensburg, Washington

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 4:50 am HST]
Always in my heart, I have thanked Sen. Fong for appointing me to the Air Force Academy. It was key in my own life and career. I was sorry about the final years of hurtful entanglement but it did not diminish my high regard for Sen. Fong. Mahalo and Aloha, Curtis Kekoa Jr., Esq. (AFA Class of 1971)
Curtis Kekoa Jr.
San Francisco/HNL

[Posted on August 21, 2004 at 2:02 am HST]
Hawaii has lost one of its truly great men with the passing of The Honorable Hiram Fong. During my many years in Hawai'i I was living in Kahalu'u on Kamehameha Highway and turned my own yard into a mini banana plantation. Mr. Fong occasionally stopped by and would compliment me on the fine job that I was doing as a 'suburban farmer' (his words..not mine.) The saddest part...for me at least...is that there are not enough Hiram Fongs in this world. My sincere condolences to his family and friends but we must look at his legacy...all the good that he did throughout his long and very productive life. For that we can all be proud and grateful.
Jerry (Kele) DeOreo
Ellenton Florida

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 11:23 pm HST]
I would like to offer my aloha and prayers to the family of the late Senator Hiram Fong, with much mahalo nui for the blessing of his life to Hawai`i.
L. Segundo
Honolulu

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 9:28 pm HST]
A man that represented Hawaii with a lot of class, character, and strength will be truely be missed. He opened many doors for the American minorities as a senator and showed that anyone can be successful by setting your goals as an entrepreneur. Hawaii was very bless to have such a great individual and the nation salutes him today. God Bless him and his family.
Sumio Nishimoto
Tokyo, Japan

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 5:07 pm HST]
I am very saddened to learn of Senator Fongs passing. My children and I met him at his gardens. He was truly a wonderful person and I feel honored to have met him. He graciously spent part of his afternoon answering many questions my children and I had. It wasn't until we said good bye that I found out who this kind gentleman was.
Mary Dorsey
Crossville Tn

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 1:33 pm HST]
Growing up on the Windward side of Oahu, I had the utmost pleasure of meeting Senator Fong. He was certainly one of the nicest people that I have ever encountered, I could not beleive his Wisdom and Courage.. Thank you Senator, for having been one of the most sincere and wisest men around, you will be never be forgotten.. It has certainly been a pleasure knowing you.. God Bless you and those you left behind, but never forgotten.. D.M. and Family (Lihue, Kauai) Formally of Kahalu'u, Oahu..
Daniel
Kauai

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 1:21 pm HST]
Senator Fong, You were truly a Great Man and Example to our Islands.. Thank you for leaving a True Legacy.. You will be sorely missed by all.. God Bless and Keep your Ohana.. Aloha!!
STACE M.
LIHUE, KAUAI

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 1:11 pm HST]
Hello, I met Senator Fong in 2001 at his ranch as I was driving around the Island. I was born in Hawaii as was my mom, but I grew up in San Francisco. I sort knew who Senator Fong was, but just found him to be a nice man the day I met him. I later told my mom about it and she got very excited and said we were lucky to meet such a great man in Hawaii's history. Sad to see him pass away, but he lived a great, full life. Damien Fairbairn
Damien Fairbairn
California

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 11:52 am HST]
He would always let our Little League Team use his Plantation for the end of Season Party. His generosity will be missed..... Aloha Dear Senator ! Aloha Dear Dad ! Aloha Dear Grandfather ! Aloha Dear Uncle ! Aloha Dear Sports Person ! Aloha Dear Friend!
Keoki
Hauula, HI

[Posted on August 20, 2004 at 12:06 am HST]
His greatness is illustrated when he just retired from very powerful position rather than just hanging on.
eddie yoon,U.S. Senate candidate
hawaii kai/seoul

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 10:25 pm HST]
as a kid who grew up in Kalihi, I was always in awe of this great man, whenever I saw him.His input as a politician,will always be remembered, by the people he served.
gordon makaena
oakland ca

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 5:38 pm HST]
A true titan among men. His life story ranks up there with the best of the 20th Century. He is on the same plain as Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. I read about him as a student at UH and have always admired him. I do hope that Hawaii finds a way to honor him and all that he accomplished. A statue at the state Capitol, the renaming of the H3. Something to remember him. My thoughts and prayers to the family and the State of Hawaii. He was Hawaii's shining example to the World.
Paul G. Vargas
San Leandro, CA

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 5:27 pm HST]
That one can rise from abject poverty, racial discrimination and all sorts of adversities to reach the mountain top gives others tremenous aspirations,hopes and dreams. He united the people from different parties, races and walks of life. We surely miss you, Yau Leong Hiram.
P. Wong
Colo.

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 4:41 pm HST]
I was personally sadden to learn the passing of a true GIANT and an American Patriot. I started doing research work on Senator Hiram Fong 20 years ago. I was and STILL am fascinated about his legacy. ... Senator Fong did an outstanding and distinguished service for ALL americans regardless of one's ethnicity or background. His supporting of the 1964 Civil Rights act and his vote of support for the late, great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court bench are just a few of his accomplishments in this arena. After researching and collecting materials on Senator Fong, I finally met him in person at his Finance factors office. It was a remarkable visit I'll never forget. Deepest Sympathy to the family. My final ALOHA and MAHALO to a GREAT American.
STANLEY SIMMONS
ATLANTA, GA.

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 4:07 pm HST]
Back in 1970, the federal agency where I worked was directed to release 20 percent of the work force so that a private firm could assume the workload. After gathering data which showed that it was cheaper to do the work with federal employees, I contacted Senator Fong's office for assistance. With the help of his brother who ran his Hawaii office, Senator Fong had the Air Force do an on-site study that substantiated our position which, in turn, led to the termination the reduction-in-force order. Through the process, Senator Fong and his staff were proactive and understanding. While I am a lifelong Democrat, I always voted for Senator Fong. May his family find peace knowing that he touched the lives of many who, at this time, mourn with you.
Isami Yoshihara
Honolulu, HI

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 2:18 pm HST]
Last year I interviewed Sen. Fong while producing my documentary on Hawaii's Chinatown, I asked him a parting question- "How do you stay so focused and vibrant at his age?" He replied to "Never retire, stay working and do what you love." I will and mahalo Senator.
Doug Ross
New York City

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 2:02 pm HST]
Aloha and rest in peace another exciting journey begins.
Paul T. Yonamine
3217 Makini st

[Posted on August 19, 2004 at 5:29 am HST]
I WAS VERY SADDENED BY THE PASSING OF HIRAM FONG THIS WEEK. I WILL ALWAYS REMBEMBER MEETING HIM IN HIS GARDENS WHEN I WENT OUT THERE ON THE BUS ONE DAY. HE DID SO MUCH FOR HAWAII)MY 2ND HOME) AND I KNOW HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED. MALUHIA & ALOHA DOLORES(KOLOLEKE) TREFFEISEN
DOLORES TREFFEISEN
PHILADELPHIA, PA

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 8:43 pm HST]
As a fellow Chinese-American, I can say how proud I am of Hiram Fong's legacy that he left. Of all the actions in life and his tenacity to be a realist and idealist, I applaud this hero for the kind of principles that he stood for without waivering his conviction. I recall first meeting Mr. Fong at then Linda Lingle's 98'election night and had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Fong. His deamenor left me a lasting impression of someone his caliber in shaping and shaking the islands. We will remember all the happy memories you created to make this place better than you had left it and I will frame the picture that you graciously took the time to take with me. Thank you Mr. Fong, and see you again at the "Big Dance..." -Quinn Kwocke Nii Hawaii Kai
Quinn Nii
Hawaii Kai

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 7:58 pm HST]
Aloha to Senator Hiram Fong - you always have a smile and friendly attitude to everyone no matter what ethnic or background the person came from. Our deepest sympathy to your family. You will be greatly miss. You left a great legacy during your time down here.
T.Z. Harmon
Louisville, Ky

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 6:29 pm HST]
Aloha Dan, My name is Manny Lagod, former bass player with Don Ho & The (original) Aliis. It is with a sad and heavy heart to hear of the passing of Hiram Fong whom I admired and who was one of Hawaii's greatest statesman. Hiram was instrumental with the unification of Don Ho & The Aliis which began a musical revolution of Hawaiian music in the mid-60's that breath new life to Hawaii's place in the music industry. While the 5 "Aliis" (Rudy Aquino, Ben Chong, Al Akana, Joe Mundo & Manny Lagod) were in the Air force after a little less than 2 years stationed in Bolling Air Force base in Washington D.C. and providing Hawaiian music to various different military installations across the USA, we went to see senator Hiram Fong in Washington D.C. to request an early discharge from our military commitment of 4 years. He called on then Secretary of the Air Force (Zukert) and 3 weeks later, we were back in Hawaii where we formed a union with Don Ho! If it wasn't for Hiram, who knows if Don Ho & The Aliis would have ever come to past? I salute Senator Hiram Fong and my condolences to all of his family. Sincerely, Manny Lagod
Manny Lagod
Lomita, California

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 6:25 pm HST]
I first learned of Sen. Fong when I visited his botanical garden in 2002. There was a friendly looking man on the ground, digging away and waving to us on the guide truck. He reminded me so much of my own father and I always remembered how gentle and happy he looked. I've thought of him so often and always hoped to go back to his garden. I just happened to look at the news on the internet and my heart just fell...my deepest sympathy to the family and may all of you find that love, understanding, and kindness are what is important during our time on earth.
Lisa Iida
Hayama Kanagawa Japan

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 5:49 pm HST]
Wonderful man......my condolences to his family and friends. Aloha
Kalani Schrader
Kailua, Oahu

[Posted on August 18, 2004 at 5:47 pm HST]
My two daughters and I went horseback riding on Senator Fong's plantation several years ago. It was beautiful, the horses were a great ride, and our guide was informative and friendly and had a lot of praise for the Senator as a wonderful employer. Along the way we came across the Senator as he was working on his trees. He was so very friendly and asked us how we were enjoying our ride. We had a brief but friendly conversation. He left a great impression on us to this day. Our deepest sympathy and best wishes to his family.
Janet, Deanna and Leilani Itano
Hawaii Kai