Former Mayor Frank Francis Fasi, purveyor of the Fasi shaka as well as what is regarded as America’s best public transportation system, passed away in his Makiki home last night, due to natural causes. Fasi, who was born in Hartford, Connecticut, eventually made the trip to Honolulu after enlisting in the Marines, shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Fasi was regarded as a “maverick” during the early years of his political career, which lasted for a strong 46 years, serving as Mayor for 22 out of those 46. As Mayor of Honolulu, Fasi was responsible for numerous, ground-breaking achievements, including the opening of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, the construction of the Satellite City Hall, and the establishment of The Bus, which has won numerous awards as America’s Best Transit System.
On top of the construction and opening of what have become some of Hawai’i's more famous landmarks, Fasi created our island’s Summer Fun recreational programs, and the annual Honolulu City Lights display. “Even rail transit was a centerpiece of his administration,” says current Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “He was truly one of the greatest mayors Honolulu has ever had, a visionary who spoke with action rather than words,” said Councilman Ikaika Anderson.
Fasi was an ambitious Democrat, a political hero to some, similar to whom he regarded as political heroes: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. A recent statement released by the Fasi ohana reads “The man affectionately known by many in Hawaii simply as ‘the Mayor’ truly loved this city of Honolulu and devoted much of his life in trying to improve it.”
Our condolences go out to the entire Fasi family.