The Life and Legacy of Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole

Introduction: ceslie-ann kamakawiwo’ole was a beloved Hawaiian journalist, producer, and television host who left a profound impact on the media landscape in Hawaii. Known for her passion for social justice and her commitment to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, Kamakawiwo’ole was a trailblazer in her field who inspired many through her work.

Early Life and Career:

Born on September 20, 1958, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kamakawiwo’ole grew up in a family of musicians and performers. Her father was the legendary Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who was known for his soulful renditions of traditional Hawaiian songs. Kamakawiwo’ole inherited her father’s love of music and performed as a singer in her youth.

After studying journalism at the University of Hawaii, Kamakawiwo’ole began her career as a journalist, working for local newspapers and television stations. She quickly established herself as a rising star in the field, earning acclaim for her insightful reporting and her commitment to giving a voice to underrepresented communities.

Breaking Barriers in Media:

Kamakawiwo’ole’s career was marked by a series of groundbreaking achievements. In 1992, she became the first Native Hawaiian woman to anchor a local news broadcast in Hawaii. Her presence on the airwaves was a powerful symbol of the progress that had been made in the media industry, and it inspired many young women to pursue careers in journalism.

Kamakawiwo’ole was also a passionate advocate for social justice, and she used her platform to shine a light on issues affecting the Hawaiian community. She produced several documentaries on topics such as the fight for Hawaiian sovereignty and the impact of colonization on the islands.


Kamakawiwo’ole’s untimely death on January 25, 2009, at the age of 50, was a shock to the Hawaiian community and the media industry at large. Her legacy, however, lives on through her pioneering work in journalism and her commitment to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.

In recognition of her contributions, Kamakawiwo’ole was posthumously inducted into the Hawaii Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013. Her impact on the media landscape in Hawaii continues to be felt today, as a new generation of journalists and producers draw inspiration from her life and work.


Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole was a trailblazer in the media industry, whose passion for social justice and commitment to giving a voice to underrepresented communities made her a beloved figure in Hawaii. Her legacy serves as an inspiration to all those who seek to use the power of media to create positive change in the world.

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