Of the seven governors of the state, two have been elected to three terms, and three have been elected to two terms. The only one-term governor was the first, William F. Quinn, though he also served a term as territorial governor. No state governor has yet resigned or died in office, nor did any territorial governor die in office. George Ariyoshi was the first Asian American to be governor of any U.S. state. The current governor is Neil Abercrombie, who took office on December 6, 2010.
Hawaii was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, consisting of Hawaii Territory minus Palmyra Atoll. Since then, there have been seven governors.
The governor is elected to a four-year term commencing on the first Monday in the December following the election. The lieutenant governor is elected for the same term and, since 1964, on the same ticket as the governor. The 1978 constitutional convention established a term limit of two consecutive terms for both offices. If the office of governor is vacant, the lieutenant governor becomes governor; if the governor is out of the state or unable to fulfill their duties, the lieutenant governor acts as governor during such absence or disability.
Six of Hawaii's governors, four when it was a territory and two since statehood, have served other high offices. Sanford Dole was President of Hawaii before the country was annexed and made a territory, which he then governed. One territorial governor each served as a Delegate from Hawaii Territory, a U.S. Senator from Hawaii, and a Governor of American Samoa. One state governor also served as a delegate, and another represented the state in the U.S. House.
As of September 2014[update], four former governors were alive, the oldest being George Ariyoshi (1974-1986, born 1926). The most recent death of a former governor was that of William F. Quinn (1957–1962), who died on August 28, 2006. The most recently serving governor to have died was John A. Burns (1962–1974) who died from cancer on April 5, 1975 less than a year after leaving office.
^Tuttle, Jr., Daniel W. (June 1967). "The 1966 Election in Hawaii". The Western Political Quarterly (The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 2) 20 (2, part 2): 563. doi:10.2307/446083. JSTOR446083.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^"King, Samuel Wilder". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
^"Burns, John Anthony". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
^"Abercrombie, Neil". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved November 6, 2010.