Frank Fasi

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Frank Fasi
Frank Fasi.jpg
Mayor of Honolulu
In office
January 2, 1985 – September 1994
Preceded by Eileen Anderson
Succeeded by Jeremy Harris
In office
January 2, 1969 – January 2, 1981
Preceded by Neal Blaisdell
Succeeded by Eileen Anderson
Personal details
Born(1920-08-27)August 27, 1920
East Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 2010(2010-02-03) (aged 89)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Before 1984)
Republican (1984–1994)
Best Party (1994–1996)
Independent (1996–2010)
Spouse(s)Florence Ohama (1946–1957)
Joyce Miyeku Kono (1958–2004 (death))
Children5 (with Ohama)
6 (with Kono)
Education Trinity College, Connecticut ( BA)

Frank Francis Fasi (August 27, 1920 – February 3, 2010) was an American politician who was the longest serving Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, serving for 22 years. He also served as a territorial senator and member of the Honolulu City Council.

Early years

Frank Francis Fasi was born on 27 August 1920 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Sicilian immigrants Carmelo and Josephine Lupo Fasi. [1] Carmelo owned an ice business, and Frank began working for his father at age 11. [2] He finished 7th out of class of 476 in high school, and graduated from Trinity College where he had been a history major on an academic scholarship. [3]

Fasi tried to join the United States Marine Corps after graduation from Trinity. The Marines turned him down because of his color blindness. On his second try, he hired a friend to take the eye test for him, and Frank Fasi became a Marine. [2] He served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II and was briefly stationed on Kauai. He was discharged as a first lieutenant in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1946, and immediately returned to Hawaii. In 1956, he resigned his commission as captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Fasi settled in Honolulu, where he became an entrepreneur, opening his own contracting, building demolition and salvage company. [4]

Political career

In 1958, Fasi entered politics, winning his first race to represent his district in the senate of the Territory of Hawaiʻi. [5] His term was cut short when Hawaiʻi achieved statehood and the territorial legislature was dissolved in 1959. [5] After returning to his business, Fasi once again ran for office in 1965 winning a seat on the Honolulu City Council where he served as a councilman through 1968.

Frank F. Fasi Election Summary
Year Race Election Party Outcome
1958 Territorial Senator General Democrat Won
1965 Honolulu City Councilman General Democrat Won
1967 Honolulu City Councilman General Democrat Won
1968 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1972 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1974 Governor of Hawaiʻi Primary Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1976 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1978 Governor of Hawaiʻi Primary Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1980 Mayor of Honolulu Primary Democrat Lost to Eileen Anderson (D)
1982 Governor of Hawaiʻi General Independent Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1984 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1988 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1992 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1994 Governor of Hawaiʻi General Best Lost to Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)
1996 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Jeremy Harris (N-P)
2000 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Jeremy Harris (N-P)
2003 Congress 2nd District Special Nonpartisan Lost to Ed Case (D)
2004 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Mufi Hannemann (N-P)

Mayor of Honolulu

By the late 1960s, Fasi had gained a colorful reputation. The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers were using the words "firebrand," "trailblazer" and "maverick" to describe him. In 1969, Fasi was elected Mayor of Honolulu and served through 1981 when he was defeated for the first time for re-election by [6] Eileen Anderson. He staged a comeback and defeated Anderson in the 1984 election, returning to Honolulu Hale once again and serving as mayor through 1994, [5] when he resigned to seek the Hawaiʻi governorship. After losing his 2004 bid for the office of mayor, Fasi, then 84 years old, announced that he would not run for office again. As of 2020, he is the last Republiican to have served as Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Fasi served 22 years as the mayor of Honolulu, the longest cumulative tenure of any Honolulu mayor. [4]

Best Party

Fasi was a member of the Democratic Party in his early years. In 1984, he was persuaded by D. G. Anderson to quit and join the Republican Party. In 1994, both parties pushed him away in favor of younger, more popular candidates. In retaliation, Fasi established the Best Party of Hawaiʻi and ran for Governor of Hawaiʻi against Patricia F. Saiki and Benjamin J. Cayetano. [7] Dr. John P. Craven ran against Fasi in the Primary. Fasi lost but his party lives on as the Aloha ʻĀina Party of Hawaiʻi with which it merged in 1997.

Indictment for corruption

Fasi was indicted for bribery in 1977 on charges of accepting $500,000 in bribes. [8] The charges were later dropped. [9]


Much of Honolulu today retains reminders of the Fasi era. He opened the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, and established TheBus, [10] [11] the national award-winning public transportation system. Fasi also invented and built the Satellite City Hall system, established one of the nation's largest elected neighborhood board systems, and pushed for the construction of the H-POWER waste-to-energy plant. Fasi created the Summer Fun recreational program for children and the annual Honolulu City Lights winter festival. [12] Fasi popularized the shaka, a local hand gesture, when he ordered it to become the city's signature logo and printed on all city signs and publications. He is also credited with transforming the Capitol District by bulldozing massive parking structures near the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, ʻIolani Palace and Kawaiahaʻo Church to create large parcels of green space known as the Honolulu Civic Center. [13] He also created a central office building for many of the city's departments.

In recognition of his service to Honolulu, Mayor Mufi Hannemann renamed both the Civic Center and the Municipal Building in July 2006. In order to do so, the Honolulu City Council amended its charter with the passage of Bill 76 (2005) CD 1, FD 1, which bypassed a ban on naming city and county sites in honor of living persons. The Mayor Frank F. Fasi Civic Center and Mayor Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building now stand as a memorial to him. [14]


Fasi died at his home of natural causes on February 3, 2010. [15] [16] He was 89.

Organization membership

Frank Fasi was a member [1] of the following organizations:


  1. ^ a b Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "Fasi, Frank Francis". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Tswei, Suzanne (20 September 2000). "Flamboyant and Combative". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  3. ^ "Frank Fasi Dies". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 4 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b Martin, Douglas. "Frank F. Fasi, 89, Six-Term Mayor of Honolulu". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  5. ^ a b c Dye, Bob (1997). Hawai'i Chronicles II: Contemporary Island History from the Pages of Honolulu Magazine. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 276–281. ISBN  978-0-8248-1984-2.
  6. ^ Essoyan, Susan; Borreca, Richard (5 February 2010). "Hizzoner Was One of a Kind". Honolulu Star-bulletin.
  7. ^ Martin, Douglas (15 February 2010). "Frank Fasi; led Honolulu for six terms as mayor; 89". The Boston Globe.
  8. ^ Times, Wallace Turner Special to The New York (July 5, 1978). "Grudges and Corruption Inquiry Color Governorship Race in Hawaii" – via
  9. ^ Martin, Douglas (February 13, 2010). "Frank F. Fasi, 89, Six-Term Mayor of Honolulu" – via
  10. ^ "Hawaii Eyes Tourist-Tax Subsidy". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 4 September 1970.
  11. ^ Adamski, Mary (24 August 2003). "1971 Strike Prompted City to Create Public Fleet". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  12. ^ Munatones, Steve (6 February 2010). "The Can-do Spirit of Mayor Frank Fasi". The Water is Open.[ permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Frank Fasi: Through the Years". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 6 February 2010.
  14. ^ Hannemann, Mufi (8 February 2006). "Hanneman Proposes Renaming Civic Center, Municipal Center in Honor of Former Mayor Frank Fasi". Press release. City and County of Honolulu. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi Dies". KITV. 4 February 2010. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012.
  16. ^ Advertiser Staff (4 February 2010). "Former Mayor F Fasi Dies". Honolulu Advertiser.
Party political offices
New seat Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
( Class 1)

Succeeded by
Thomas Gill
First Best Party nominee for Governor of Hawaii
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Neal Blaisdell
Mayor of Honolulu
Succeeded by
Eileen Anderson
Preceded by
Eileen Anderson
Mayor of Honolulu
Succeeded by
Jeremy Harris