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When I travel to most places, I try to find out if there are any notable natives. In the case of Hawaii, that might include notable transplants as well.
There is music beyond Don Ho. There are politicians beyond Barack Obama. And certainly, there are chefs beyond Roy Yamamoto. Certainly, the popular 44th President is now at the top of my list!
Replace Do Ho with the ultra popular and talented native, Bruno Mars. We actually saw his uncle perform at our dear friend’s wedding a few years ago at the pink palace (Sheraton Waikiki).
I have always appreciated most of the politicians from Hawaii, with the late Senator Daniel Inouye at the top. Not only was he a war hero, he suffered many indignities post war even after losing his arm in battle. Many forget that the late Senator Hiram Fong was the first Chinese American member of the Senate. And former Governor George Ariyoshi was the first Japanese American Governor.
We tend to pay more attention to athletes than politicians. Hawaii’s first big athletic hero was a surfer and swimmer, The Duke, or Duke Kahanamoku. He was a triple gold medalist in swimming for the U.S. And there is no more gut-wrenching story than young Jackie Pung. She won the 1957 U.S. Women’s Open, only to be disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
So, here are more, in no particular order: comedian Frank DeLima (he is a riot), surfer Eddie Aikau, Chef Sam Choy, Hilo Hattie, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, Bette Midler, Ellison Onizuka, Jake Shimabukuro, Michelle Wie, Father Damien, Nicole Kidman, and General Eric Shinseki.
I am sure you can name many others, including the transplants.