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Nelson Doi

Nelson Doi
5th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
In office
December 2, 1974 – December 2, 1978
Governor George Ariyoshi
Preceded by George Ariyoshi
Succeeded by Jean King
Personal details
Born (1922-01-01)January 1, 1922
Pahoa, Hawaii
Died May 16, 2015(2015-05-16) (aged 93)
Waimea, Hawaii
Political party Democratic
Profession Judge, Politician

Nelson Kiyoshi Doi (January 1, 1922 – May 16, 2015), was the Hawaii Democratic Party.[1][2]


  • Early and Legislative Years 1
  • Judiciary and Lieutenant Governor 2
  • Later years 3
  • References 4

Early and Legislative Years

Doi attended the University of Hawaii, where he was president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii from December 1944 to June 1945 (Yim).

Doi began his political career at the 1950 Hawaiʻi State Constitutional Convention that drafted the first state laws for Hawaiʻi that went into effect in 1959. During that Convention, Doi noted “a frustration that began to ferment” amongst the delegates (Arakawa and Pang). In the 1954 election, that frustration led to a huge victory for the Democrats, who seized control of what had been a territory dominated by Republicans. Doi, representing Hawaii Island, was one of the victorious Democrats. Other Democrats first elected in 1954 included U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga.

After that victory in 1954, Doi then served in the Hawaii Territorial Senate in 1955-1959 and then in the Hawaiʻi State Senate from 1959 to 1969. During his tenure in the Senate, Doi was frequently at odds with Governor John A. Burns and Senate Democratic leaders (McDannald).

In 1968, Doi was one of 82 delegates to the Frank Fasi, and Patricia Saiki.

Judiciary and Lieutenant Governor

In 1970, Doi left the George Ariyoshi, respectively.

In 1974, Doi was chosen as the running mate for George Ariyoshi. Fourteen months earlier, Ariyoshi, the previous Lieutenant Governor, became Acting Governor upon the incapacitating illness of longtime Governor John A. Burns. Ariyoshi and Doi emerged victorious, becoming the first-ever Japanese Americans to hold simultaneously the Governor and Lieutenant Governor posts of any state in the U.S. Doi was the second Japanese American to hold the position of state Lieutenant Governor.[3]

Later years

After his service as Lieutenant Governor, Doi ran for Mayor of Honolulu and was defeated by Frank Fasi. Doi also ran in the 1977 Honolulu Marathon, finishing in 4 hours, 30 minutes, and “besting his wife by just one minute” (Donnelly). In 1977, he also was appointed to then-territorial High Court of the Marshall Islands. Upon his retirement from that court, Doi taught at various schools in Japan. Doi returned to Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi where he helped build the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital.

Additionally, Doi had interests in Maharishi Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, and Erhard Seminars Training (EST).


  1. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum (July 1, 1996). "Doi, Nelson K".  
  2. ^ "Former Lt. Gov. Nelson Doi dies on Hawaii island". Star Advertiser. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Niiya, Brian (1993). Japanese American History: An A-To-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present. Facts on File. p. 129.  
  • Arakawa, Lynda and Gordon Y.K. Pang. “GOP aims for own revolution." Honolulu Advertiser. 13 June 2004.
  • Ariyoshi, George R. With Obligation to All. University of Hawaii Press, 1997.
  • Chapin, Helen G. Shaping History : The Role of Newspapers in Hawai'i. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 1996. p 309.
  • Hoffman, Tom. The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press, 2003.
  • Donnelly, Dave. “Hawaii.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 15 Dec. 2002.
  • “Former Lt. Gov. Doi still talking about politics in his retirement.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 18 Oct 2003.
  • McDannald, Alexander Hopkins. The Americana Annual: An Encyclopedia of Current Events. University of Michigan, 1970.
  • Van Dyke, Jon M.. “Time for a tune-up.” Honolulu Advertiser. 18 May 2008.
  • Yim, Susan. “Look Where the Presidents Have Gone.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. June 1981. Viewable at
Political offices
Preceded by
George Ariyoshi
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii
1974 - 1978
Succeeded by
Jean King
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