George Takei

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, every school day The Cardinal will feature a prominent and historical Asian American or Pacific Islander, living or dead, who has worked toward change, advancement, and/or world peace. Some of them are heroes, and some are unsung heroes, who deserve recognition, and have made a contribution to society.


Chloe Ly, Senior Writer

George Takei is a Japanese-American actor, author, and activist, who is a prominent advocate for LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights. Throughout his career, he has been recognized with honors and doctorate awards for his contributions and services in society.

Takei was born on April 20, 1937 in Los Angeles, California. During World War II, his family was forced to live in the Japanese internment camps in 1942 and over time, they were relocated to different internment camps. After World War II ended, Takei’s family lived in Skid Row, Los Angeles for five years. Takei attended UC Berkeley, where he majored in architecture, but later transferred to UCLA to major in theater following a voiceover gig he did, as he was drawn towards the field of acting. Then in 1960, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in theater and a Master of Arts in theater in 1964 at UCLA. Takei took the role of Sulu in the Star Trek series in 1965, which he became well-known for as an actor.

Takei has broken history with his partner, Brad Altman, by being the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood. The two later got married on September 14, 2008 after he announced his marriage to the public at a press conference in June of that year. Currently, Takei is a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign “Coming Out Project,” and often shares his experiences as a gay Japanese-American man in order to spread awareness and educate others.