The executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State, Diridon was a member of the Saratoga City Council and served five terms on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. And whether you think the light-rail lines that crisscross Santa Clara County are a blessing or a curse, Diridon is the man considered most responsible for them.
Plus, San Jose's Cahill train depot was renamed for him after he retired from the board of supervisors in 1994.
But what few people know is that Diridon managed all this while having a learning disability. Diridon, 68, is dyslexic.
He'll be sharing his story of learning to read with the help of others and how dyslexia still affects his life on May 3 at the 22nd annual Recognition Breakfast for Project HIRED, a non-profit agency that helps disabled people find employment.
"It's something I still have and I'll always have it," Diridon said Wednesday night at a San Jose State College of Business event, where he was honored with the lifetime achievement award.
Project HIRED CEO Marie Benard called Diridon "courageous" for speaking about his disability in a such a public venue. And as far as inspiration goes, sharing his story will no doubt outweigh having a train station named for him.
Congratulations to Diridion, and it is a reminder that early success in school isn't the only thing that matters.