ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Norman Mineta, who as federal transportation secretary ordered commercial flights grounded after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, died Tuesday. He was 90.
John Flaherty, Mineta’s former chief of staff, said Mineta died “peacefullly at his home surrounded by family" in Edgewater, Maryland.
“His cause of death was a heart ailment," Flaherty added. “He was an extraordinary public servant and a very dear friend."
Mineta broke racial barriers in becoming mayor of San Jose, California. He was also the first Asian-American to become a Cabinet secretary, serving under both Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush.