Daniel Ken "Dan" Inouye (pronounced /ɨˈnoʊweɪ/;, Japanese: 井上 建, Inoue Ken; born September 7, 1924) is an American politician who is the senior United States Senator from Hawaii and the President pro tempore of the United States Senate making him the highest-ranking Asian American politician in American history. A Democrat, Inouye is the chairman of the influential United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Inouye has been a senator since 1963, and since the death of Robert Byrd is the most senior senator. He is also the second longest serving U.S. Senator in history after Byrd. Inouye has continuously represented Hawaii in the U.S. Congress since it achieved statehood in 1959, serving as Hawaii's first U.S. Representative and later a senator. Inouye was the first Japanese-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the first in the U.S. Senate. At age 86, Inouye is the second-oldest current senator, after 87 year old Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. He is also a recipient of the United States Medal of Honor.
As President pro tempore of the Senate, Inouye is third in the line of Presidential succession (behind the Vice President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives) and signs all bills that are passed by the Senate before they are sent to the President of the United States to be signed into law or vetoed.