Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole

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Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole

Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (March 26, 1871 – January 7, 1922) was a prince of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi until it was overthrown by a coalition of American and European businessmen in 1893. He later went on to become a representative in the Territory of Hawaii as delegate to the United States Congress, and as such is the first native Hawaiian and only person ever elected to that body who was born a royal.

Kalanianaʻole was born March 26, 1871 in Kukui‘ula, Kōloa on the island of Kauaʻi. Like many aliʻi (Hawaiian nobility) his genealogy was complex, but he was an heir of Kaumualiʻi, the last ruling chief of Kauaʻi. He was named after his grandfather Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, a High Chief of Hilo, and his paternal grandfather Jonah Piʻikoi, a High Chief of Kauaʻi. His Hawaiian name Kuhio translated into “Chief who leaned forward as he stood,” and “Kalanianaole” meant “ambitious Chief,” or “Chief who is never satisfied.” Like many Hawaiian nobles in the nineteenth-century he attended the exclusive private Royal School and Punahou School in Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. In the 1870s, a French school teacher at St. Alban’s College, now ʻIolani School, commented on how young Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s eyes twinkled merrily and how he kept a perpetual smile. “He is so cute, just like the pictures of the little cupid”, teacher Pierre Jones said. The nickname, “Prince Cupid”, stuck with Prince Kūhiō for the rest of his life. After completing his basic education he also traveled abroad for further study. He studied for four years at Saint Matthew’s School, a private Episcopal military school in San Mateo, California, and at the Royal Agricultural College in England before graduating from a business school in England. He was described as being an excellent marksman and athlete at sports such as football and bicycling.

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