Feb. 23, 2017 — Eni H. Faleomavaega '72, American Samoa's longest serving non-voting delegate to the U.S House of Representatives, died Wednesday at the age of 73 in Provo, Utah.
Faleomavaega, a Democrat, became a congressional delegate in 1989, serving 25 years until he was defeated in 2014. The House delegate for American Samoa, a U.S. territory about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii, can vote in committee but not on the House floor.
He "had served the people and government of American Samoa faithfully for many years," American Samoa's acting governor, Lemanu Palepoi Peleti Mauga, told the Associated Press.
Faleomavaega began his Washington career in 1973 as an administrative assistant to Paramount Chief A.U. Fuimaono, the territory's first elected representative to Washington. He then served as staff counsel to the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs from 1975-1981 before returning to American Samoa as its deputy attorney general. In 1985, he was elected lieutenant governor.
Born in American Samoa, Faleomavaega earned a B.A. in political science and history from Brigham Young University in 1966. After serving three years in the U.S. Army with a stint in Vietnam, he earned his J.D. at then-Bates College of Law in 1972, followed a year later, by an LL.M. from the University of California at Berkeley.
He is survived by his widow, Hinanui Hunkin, five children and 10 grandchildren.