S. I. Hayakawa

Senator S.I. Hayakawa
former U.S. Senator
Born: 7/18/1906
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Son of Japanese immigrant parents, Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa earned a B.A. in English from the University of Manitoba in 1927, an M.A. in English from McGill University in Montreal in 1928, and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from the University of Wisconsin in 1935. Hayakawa taught English at the University of Wisconsin until 1939, when he became an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he worked until 1947. In 1950, he was named lecturer at San Francisco State College, becoming a professor five years later. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In 1968 Hayakawa became president of the college, which later became San Francisco State University. In 1976 Hayakawa was elected to the U.S. Senate. A Republican, he became known for his efforts to promote English as a national language. After leaving the senate in 1983, he founded U.S. English, which promoted a common official language. From 1983 until 1990 Hayakawa also served as special advisor to the secretary of state on East Asian and the Pacific Islands.

Died: 1992