Tom Hayden is a longtime activist and lawmaker, most noted for his unstinting commitment to the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s and '70s.
Thomas Emmett Hayden was born on December 11, 1939, in Detroit, Michigan, to parents of Irish roots. In his youth, he attended the University of Michigan, where he became editor of the Michigan Daily.
He was a co-founder of the activist organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and crafted the group's most famous work, the Port Huron Statement, which spelled out the idealism of the New Left movement. He served as SDS president from 1962 to 1963. Hayden came to be regarded by many as the chief proponent of the movement.
Hayden was a Freedom Rider in the Deep South, arrested and beaten in rural Georgia and Mississippi in the early Sixties.
He resided in Newark, New Jersey, from 1964 to 1968. As part of the Newark Community Union Project, he worked with inner-city residents. He was there during the city's race riots, and penned the book Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response (1967).*
The war years
Hayden was in the thick of protests and violence surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. He was arrested there as part of the "Chicago Seven," notably among them Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, and charged with conspiracy and inciting riots. Following five years of legal wrangling, Hayden was cleared of all charges.
Hayden was a fervent backer of the radical Black Panthers Party in the 1960s and 1970s.
As a peace activist, Hayden made several trips to Cambodia and North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, including a notorious journey in 1972 to North Vietnam with actress Jane Fonda, whom he married in 1973.
A legislative career
Hayden later served as a Democraft for 10 years in the California State Assembly (1982-1992) and eight years in the State Senate (1992-2000). While serving under Republican governors for most of his 18 years twice surviving Republican-instigated expulsion attempts Hayden managed to push through more than 100 progressive measures. He ran for Los Angeles mayor in 1997, but was defeated by Richard Riordan.
Hayden also served twice on the Democratic Party's national platform committee. He has attended 10 Democratic national conventions, six times as a delegate.
As of 2005, he was advocating in speech and print for U.S. Congressional hearings on withdrawing from Iraq. Hayden also was a national co-director of No More Sweatshops!, a cooperative effort among community, campus, labor, and clergy advocates.
Hayden currently lives in Los Angeles, California, and is married to actress-singer Barbara Williams. They have a son, Liam. He also has two adult children from his marriage to Jane Fonda.
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