MATSUNAGA, Spark Masayuki (1916-1990)
Senate Years of Service: 1977-1990

MATSUNAGA, SPARK MASAYUKI, a Representative and a Senator from Hawaii; born in Kukuiula, Kauai, Hawaii, October 8, 1916; graduated, University of Hawaii at Honolulu 1941 and Harvard Law School 1951; United States Army Reserve 1941; volunteered for active service in July 1941; wounded twice in battle; released from active service as a captain in December 1945; assistant public prosecutor, city and county of Honolulu 1952-1954; member of Hawaiian statehood delegation to Congress in 1950 and 1954; lawyer in private practice; member of the Territorial legislature 1954-1959, serving as majority leader 1957-1959; author and poet; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-eighth Congress in 1962; reelected to the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1963-January 3, 1977); was not a candidate for reelection in 1976 to the House of Representatives, but was elected to the United States Senate; reelected in 1982 and again in 1988 and served from January 3, 1977, until his death in Toronto, Canada, April 15, 1990; cremated, ashes interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
Hawaii Congressional Papers Collection
Honolulu, HI
Papers: 908 linear feet. 1916-1990 (bulk 1963-1990). Papers primarily documenting career in the U.S. House of Representatives (1963-1976) and Senate (1977-1990). Includes correspondence, speeches, schedules, press releases, newsletters, voting records, travel files, scrapbooks, audiovisual items, photographs, published items, and memorabilia. Topics include peace, space exploration, veterans, health, natural resources, energy, transportation, taxation, and civil rights, especially redress for Japanese Americans interned in WW II. There are files on two books he wrote, Rulemakers of the House and The Mars Project. Also included are documents, photographs, and memorabilia from childhood, years at the University of Hawaii and Harvard Law School, election campaigns, and hobbies such as playing the harmonica and writing poetry. Some restrictions.

University of Oklahoma
Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives
Norman, OK
Papers: Correspondence in Carl Albert papers, 1910-1976 (bulk 1946-1976). Finding aid.

  • Matsunaga, Spark M. The Mars Project: Journeys Beyond the Cold War. New York: Hill Wang, 1986.
  • Matsunaga, Spark M., and Ping Chen. Rulemakers of the House. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976.
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Memorial Services Held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: Together with Tributes Presented in Eulogy of Spark M. Matsunaga, Late a Senator from Hawaii. 101st Cong., 2d sess., 1990. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1992.
  • "Spark M. Matsunaga" in Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Congress, 1900-2017. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of the Historian and the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Publishing Office, 2018.