Former US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, the longest-serving secretary in the cabinet department’s history, has died from a heart ailment at the age of 90, The Washington Post reported.
Over his long political career, Mineta earned a spot on BTN’s annual Top 25 Most Influential list six times in his tenure as Secretary of Transportation from 2001 to 2006 as well as his two decades in the US House of Representatives, where he chaired the House aviation subcommittee and later the House transportation committee. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred early in his tenure as Transportation Secretary, and he helped shape development of the Transportation Security Administration following the attacks. He also was a key figure in the deregulation of global distribution systems in 2004 and was behind efforts to liberalize air travel between the United States and the European Union.
Mineta was the first Asian-American cabinet secretary in US history when President Bill Clinton appointed him as Commerce Secretary near the end of his term, and President George W. Bush’s subsequent appointment of him as Transportation Secretary made him one of only a handful of people to ever have served in the cabinets of two US presidents from different political parties.