Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, LAW JD ’52, GW HON ’08, the nation’s longest-serving senator and a decorated World War II combat veteran, passed away on Dec. 17 at the age of 88. Sen. Inouye was the first Japanese American elected to Congress and a recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws from GW.
Sen. Inouye graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1950 and GW Law School in 1952. He was an instrumental figure in shaping U.S. defense policy and was a tireless defender of the interests of the Hawaiian people. In 1958, Sen. Inouye was elected to Hawaii’s Territorial Senate, and became Hawaii’s first congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1959, when Hawaii achieved statehood. Sen. Inouye served almost nine consecutive terms in office.
In 1962, GW honored Sen. Inouye with its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and Sen. Inouye served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1992. He delivered the keynote address at the GW Law School’s 2008 Commencement, where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the university.