"The President [George W. Bush] noted with sadness the death
of former Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield.
Mike Mansfields life of service to the country began when
he served in China as a young Marine and spanned almost a century
of American engagement in the Pacific. He will be sorely missed,
but his legacy of service to the United States will continue."
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
"Ambassador Mansfield devoted many years to strengthening
the relationship between Asian countries and the United States.
He rendered invaluable service as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.
For more than a decade, Ambassador Mansfield and his beloved wife
Maureen were dedicated to strengthening Japan-U.S. relations through
trust and friendship. They considered this relationship to be the
most important bilateral relationship in the world, bar none.
Thanks to their efforts and dedication, Japan and the United States
enjoy excellent bilateral relations."
The Honorable Shunji Yanai, former Ambassador of Japan
"With his beloved wife Maureen by his side, Ambassador Mansfield
met the worlds leaders and was engaged in almost all the great
events of the post-war world. Yet he never lost the common touch.
Im sure many Japanese who called on him at the embassy were
surprised when he would personally make coffee or tea for them.
Not given to small talk, but blessed with a memory for old acquaintances
that would make any politician envious, he always had a kind, appreciative
word for everybody. He was a listener, not a talker, and I can remember
him with his ever-present pipe intent on his guests every
word. At a time when his peers were thinking retirement, he took
on the responsibility of representing the U.S. in Japan. Indeed,
age never slowed him down: he prided himself on visiting all the
prefectures of Japan, many more than once."
The Honorable Howard H. Baker, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Japan,
October 5, 2001
"He was at the helm of the Senate at the height of fundamental
achievementthe Nuclear Test Ban Treat, the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the passage of Medicare,
federal aid to education, the 18-year-old voteall deeply controversial
time, Mike Mansfields leadership was the hinge of history.
He was the man without whom the achievements might well have been
.He was the strong gentle wind that set the climate
of the Senate. He was the essential chemistry of the Body
As our Ambassador to Japan during both the Carter and Reagan Administrations
remained himself and defined diplomacy. Early in his years as Ambassador,
the American nuclear submarine George Washington violated the law
of the seas. It surfaced and sank a Japanese vessel in Japanese
waters, tragically causing a loss of life, a most embarrassing and
politically explosive incident. In a world where debate over words
like regret, sorrow, excuse or apology can take weeks and months
to be decided, at his own instigation and insistence, Ambassador
Mansfield delivered a note of apology to the Japanese Foreign Minister.
He asked, however, most uncharacteristically, that the TV cameras
be permitted to remain in the room while he submitted the written
apology. Again in character, actions over words, he bowed deeply
below the waistline in presenting the official government position.
As he knew, this symbol in the Japanese culture has great significance.
The sincerity and depth of the apology was visually conveyed. The
five seconds was played and replayed in Japans TV stations
many times over
The political issue ceased to exist. Again,
few words great action achieved the goal."
From the eulogy delivered by Charles Ferris, Senior Partner,
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, Mansfield friend
and former Senate counsel, October 10, 2001
"Mike Mansfields majestic portrait now presides over
a room that bears his name just off the Senate floor. To senators,
staff and visitors, it is a reminder of a Senate giant who was a
quiet rock of integrity and perseverance."
The Honorable Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader (D-South Dakota)
"Mike had a remarkable sense of modesty, and I think in a
way he had total self-confidence. He would tell the truth all the
time. It think that was Mikes strength. He never said anything
he didnt believe."
The Honorable George McGovern, former U.S. Senator (D-South Dakota)
"Hes the most decent man Ive ever met in public
The Honorable Hugh D. Scott, Jr., former U.S. Senator (R-Penn.)
who was Republican Minority Leader when Senator Mansfield retired
as Majority Leader
"It is fitting that Mikes professional career began
in teaching, as he went on to teach his whole life, even if he didnt
know it. He taught us:
- That you can go to college when youre
- That you can go into politics; it is a noble
- That you can lead with grace and dignity and
fairness without self-promotion
- That you can indeed, perhaps for some,
that you must express regret for wrongful deeds
- That you can say less rather than more
- And that you can love the same woman
your whole life."
Even have accomplishing so much, after going so far, Mike
was mindful that what passes for important is often unimportant,
that fame holds no significance, that money need not be a motivator,
and that simplicity can be a means to success. When we leave
go to Mikes gravesite today, take a moment to look at his
wife Maureens headstone. It says only this: Maureen,
wife of Private Michael Joseph Mansfield USMC. "
From the eulogy delivered by Stephanie Shea-OConnor, great
niece of Mike Mansfield, October 10, 2001
"It is with sadness and a sense of loss that we note the passing
of Senator Mike Mansfield, an American of the highest principles.
As the longest serving Senate Majority leader and the longest serving
U.S. Ambassador to Japan in U.S. history, Mike Mansfield will be
remembered as one of the great legislators and diplomats of this
past century. His deep commitment to justice and mutual understanding
did not stop at our nations borders. From his first trip to
Asia in 1921 to his passing, he remained dedicated to the promotion
of understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Asia. As part
of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, we at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation mourn his passing, yet are honored to
carry on his lifelong efforts."
L. Gordon Flake, Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation
"Mike Mansfield was a great figure in American politics and
diplomacy in the 20th century, all the greater for the fact that
he rejected all pretensions and claims to greatness. He was the
longest serving Majority Leader of the Senate in American history
(1961-77) and one of the most respected, and the longest serving
U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1977-89) under both Presidents Carter
and Reagan, who agreed on little else. He was a participant in many
of the historic moments of U.S. relations with Asia, the area of
his intense and abiding interest. These ranged from his days as
a U.S. Marine in an expeditionary force in China in 1922, to a mission
to China for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, to his personal
advice to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon in the 1960s and
1970s opposing deepening U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam
war. Mansfield was among the few congressional leaders present on
three occasions when Johnson met his inner war cabinet at crucial
moments of escalation. Each time he was the only person in the room
who forcefully and vocally opposed the steps the President planned
to take. As ambassador to Japan, he famously declared that the U.S.-Japan
tie is the most important bilateral relationship in the world,
bar none, and helped to make it so. When asked by journalists
and by me, as a biographer, how he would like to be remembered,
he characteristically responded, When I'm gone, Id like
to be forgotten. He will not be."
Don Oberdorfer, former Washington Post diplomatic correspondent
and now journalist-in-residence at Johns Hopkins Universitys
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, who has been working
on a biography of Mike Mansfield
"For the past decade, my favorite lunch of the year was the
gathering that Charlie Ferris, Mansfields great friend and
former Senate counsel, organized around the time of Mansfields
birthday. Eight or 10 people would be there, mostly reporters who
had covered the senator
. Mansfield would walk over from his
office, trim in a tweed sportcoat, scorning an overcoat, whatever
the weather. Customarily, he would solicit news and stories from
everyone else before saying much himself. But once he was launched,
whether on recollections of his days in the Butte mines or his negotiations
over the civil rights bills or the dynamics of change in China,
the precision of his memory, the wealth of his knowledge, the wisdom
of his years were breathtaking. He would see the looks of awe in
our faces and remark, 'Well, bored you again, didnt I?'"
David Broder, The Washington Post, October 9, 2001
"Ambassador Mansfield was a courageous and principled leader.
We are all in his debt for the contribution he made to the promotion
of friendship and mutual understanding between Asia and the United
States. His zeal and dedication will long be remembered in the service
of his country and for the cause of world peace."
C.J. (Chien-Jen) Chen, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural
Representative Office in the United States
"He is the greatest American ambassador to Japan, whom many
Japanese will not forget. I met him three years ago at his office
in Goldman Sachs
.He served us big, sweet cookies and coffee
which he made. He was so friendly and gentle with dignity. That
was so impressive, and I will never forget that time. No one can
be alive forever, but he will be alive forever in our Japanese mind."
Aki Kida, Toyota Motor Corporation
"Senator Mansfield made a great contribution to promote mutual
understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Asia. China is
one of the nations of Asia that enjoyed the benefits contributed
by Senator Mansfield. He will be remembered by both the U.S. and
George Fu, attorney, Watson & Band, Hong Kong
"He was the strong, silent type the epitome of what
you would think of as the Marlboro Man who didnt feel as if
he had to talk a lot. But certainly when he did speak, he had a
lot to say, and it was clear and focused; there was no excess. But
you knew it was the wisdom of all those years coming through
symbol of decency and humility in the Senate and throughout his
public service career."
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Senator (R-Texas)
"During his long career as a representative of Montana he
made few, if any, personal enemies in this state and enjoyed the
support of an unexampled cult of enthusiastic admirers. Those supporters
believed he always knew where he was going and had never forgotten
from whence he came; they trusted his judgment and his character,
and they were profoundly convinced he understood their needs and
aspirations and could be relied upon to fulfill them to the extent
he could. This well earned consensus, trust and confidence enabled
Mike to exercise his gifts for statesmanship unimpeded by serious
electoral concerns, which in turn made it possible for him to make
the largest contribution ever made by a Montanan to the best interests
of the state, the nation and the world."
The Honorable Gordon Bennett, retired judge, Montana
"Although he served six U.S. Presidents in his career as Majority
Leader and Ambassador to Japan, Mike once said humbly, I reached
the height of my political aspirations when I was elected Senator
from Montana. Thats just the kind of man he was, a quiet
but firm leader."
The Honorable Max Baucus, U.S. Senator (D-Montana)
"Almost all politicians talk of integrity, openness and candor.
But, of recent years, who has actually and continually demonstrated
those characteristics more compellingly than Mike Mansfield? Yet
have you ever heard him ask for your vote because he is honest,
candid and open? The answer is, of course, you never have. The simple
fact is that those who really possess the qualities have no compulsion
to tell us so."
K. Ross Toole, from a speech given at the University of Montana,
Missoula, Montana, October 31, 1976
"I worked for Mike from 1964 until 1971. Often I would be
asked to give tours to folks from Montana. One tour was a group
of young Knights of Columbus students who had been specially chosen
to tour Washington, D.C
.Mike came out into the reception room
to meet the group with his white shirt sleeves rolled up and his
pipe smoking in his hand
.He introduced himself and asked each
one of the ten or twelve students their name and where they were
from. As they introduced themselves, he responded by naming a member
of the family of each one that he knew in Montana. Of course they
were all impressed that he knew their families. The last student
was from a small town in eastern Montana. He introduced himself
and told Mike where he was from. Mike stated matter-of-factly, How
do you do, Eddy. Before today I didnt know anyone from that
town. Glad to meet you.
Mike was always happy to meet
someone new from Montana."
Gregory O. Morgan, attorney, Bozeman, Montana
"During his long, illustrious career serving our nation, Mike
Mansfield was remarkable in his ability to respond effectively to
the needs of Montana, the nation and U.S. interests in the Far East.
While our careers took us in different directions Mike to
the nations Capitol and me to the west coast, I often think
fondly of the days when he was a junior Senator and I was Superintendent
of Public Instruction of the great state of Montana."
Harriet Miller, Mayor, Santa Barbara, California
"He was a calm leader; he gave confidence to the people that
government was in good hands."
Former Montana state representative, Francis Bardanouve, Harlem,
To most Montanans, Mike Mansfield represented what is most revered
and respected in Montana politics....His role as political mentor
Dorothy Eck, Bozeman, Montana