Spark Matsunaga

Spark Matsunaga
Spark Matsunaga.jpg
United States Senator
from Hawaii
In office
January 3, 1977 – April 15, 1990
Preceded byHiram Fong
Succeeded byDaniel Akaka
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1977
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byCec Heftel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's at-large district
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1971
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
BornSpark Masayuki Matsunaga
(1916-10-08)October 8, 1916
Kukuiula, Hawaii, U.S.
DiedApril 15, 1990(1990-04-15) (aged 73)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Resting placeNational Cemetery of the Pacific
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Helene Matsunaga (m. 1951)
Children5
EducationUniversity of Hawaii, Manoa (BA)
Harvard University (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1941–1945
RankUS military captain's rank.gif Captain
Unit442nd Regimental Combat Team
100th Infantry Battalion
Battles/warsWorld War II

Spark Masayuki Matsunaga (松永正幸, Matsunaga Masayuki, October 8, 1916 – April 15, 1990) was a United States Senator from Hawaii, serving from 1977 until his death in 1990. He was an American Democrat whose legislation in the United States Senate led to the creation of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians and the United States Institute of Peace.

Early life

Matsunaga grew up on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i and graduated from Kauai High School. He attended the University of Hawai'i and received his bachelor's degree in 1941.

Matsunaga became a United States Army Reservist in 1941, volunteered for active duty in July that year, and was twice wounded in battle while serving with the renowned 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion. After his release from the Army as a Captain, Matsunaga entered Harvard Law School, graduating in 1951.