Served from July 26, 1944 to November 30, 1959
Best known for his recurring role as Detective Chin Ho Kelly on the popular TV show, Hawaii Five-O, Kam Fong Chun overcame great personal hardship and family tragedy to ultimately attain success as a husband, father, police officer, businessman, and actor. His legacy of determination, resilience, and hard work is an inspiration to many.
Chun was born in Kalihi in 1918. His parents divorced when he was young and Chun’s mother struggled to raise several children. After graduating from President William McKinley High School in 1938, he worked at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard as a boilermaker. Chun was at work on December 7, 1941, when Japanese fighter planes attacked the harbor and thrust America into World War II. Chun survived the attack, but tragically lost his wife Esther and their two young children three years later when a pair of B-24 bomber planes crashed into the family’s home.
Less than two months later, Chun joined the Honolulu Police Department. He married his wife Gladys in 1949, and together they had four children. Chun worked as one of Honolulu’s Finest for 16 years, in assignments that included patrol officer, radio dispatcher, and working with junior police officers (JPO). He retired from the Honolulu Police Department in 1960 to pursue outside interests, including a career in acting. Chun appeared in several local plays and Hollywood movies before catapulting to fame on Hawaii Five-O as the low-key, trustworthy Detective Chin Ho Kelly. During his 10 years on the show, Chun always strove to promote a positive image of Hawaii law enforcement and was a role model for many local youths.
Inducted on May 18, 2013