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Thomas Emmet Hayden (December 11, 1939 – October 23, 2016) was an American social and political activist, author, and politician. Hayden was best known for his major role as an anti-war, civil rights, and radical intellectual activist in the 1960s, authoring the Port Huron Statement and standing trial in the Chicago Seven case.

Tom Hayden
Tom Hayden (cropped).jpg
Hayden speaking at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum, April 2016
Member of the California Senate
from the 23rd district
In office
Preceded byHerschel Rosenthal
Succeeded bySheila Kuehl
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 44th district
In office
Preceded byMel Levine
Succeeded byBill Hoge
Personal details
Thomas Emmet Hayden

(1939-12-11)December 11, 1939
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
DiedOctober 23, 2016(2016-10-23) (aged 76)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Children3, including Troy Garity
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
External image
Tom Hayden with his then-wife, Jane Fonda, and their son, Troy, Santa Monica, California.

In later years he ran for political office numerous times, winning seats in both the California Assembly and California Senate. At the end of his life he was the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in Los Angeles County. He was married to Jane Fonda for 17 years, and was the father of actor Troy Garity.

Early lifeEdit

Thomas Emmet Hayden was born in Royal Oak, Michigan,[1] to parents of Irish ancestry, Genevieve Isabelle (née Garity) and John Francis Hayden.[2] His father was a former Marine who worked for Chrysler as an accountant and was also a violent alcoholic.[1] When Hayden was 10, his parents divorced, and his mother raised him.[1] Hayden attended a Catholic elementary school, where he read out loud to nuns and "learned to fear hell".[3]

Hayden grew up attending a church led by Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest noted for his anti-Semitic teachings, and who was also known nationally during the time of The Great Depression as the "radio priest".[1] Hayden's dismay with Coughlin caused him to break with the Catholic Church.[1]

Hayden attended Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. He served as the editor for the school newspaper, and in his farewell column in the newspaper, he used the first letter of successive paragraphs to spell "Go to hell".[3] As a result, when he graduated in 1956,[4][1] he was banned from attending his graduation ceremony and only received a diploma.[3]

Hayden then attended the University of Michigan, where he was editor of the Michigan Daily. Disenchanted by the anti-radicalism of existing groups like the National Student Association, he was one of the initiators of the influential leftist student activist group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In 1961, Hayden married Sandra "Casey" Cason, a civil rights activist who worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Hayden became a "Freedom Rider" in the South and then served as president of SDS from 1962 to 1963.[5]


Hayden drafted SDS's manifesto, the Port Huron Statement. The objective of the Port Huron Statement was the creation of a "radically new democratic political movement" in the United States that rejected hierarchy and bureaucracy. The statement represented the emergence of a "New Left" in the United States. The New Left often worked with, but was no longer part of, the remains of the American Left after concerted government efforts to destroy it. At its annual convention, the old Student League for Industrial Democracy, the "people's division" of the "Left" 's League for Industrial Democracy, representatives followed Hayden, adopted his manifesto, and changed its name and some of its major goals.[citation needed]

From 1964 to 1968, Hayden lived in Newark, New Jersey, where he worked with impoverished inner-city residents as part of the Newark Community Union Project. He was also witness to the city's race riots of 1967, driven by far more than race alone, as Hayden would point out, and wrote the book Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response (1967).[citation needed]

In 1965, Hayden, along with Communist Party USA member Herbert Aptheker and Quaker peace activist Staughton Lynd, undertook a controversial visit to North Vietnam and Hanoi. The three toured villages and factories and met with an American POW[who?] whose plane had been shot down. The result of this tour of North Vietnam, at a high point in the war, was a book titled The Other Side.[6][7] Staughton Lynd later wrote that Lynd and Hayden had written, in Studies on the Left: "We refuse to be anti-Communist. We insist the term has lost all the specific content it once had."[8]

In 1968, Hayden joined the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam ("the Mobe"), and played a major role in the protests outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrations were broken up by what was later called by the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence "a police riot".[9] Six months after the convention, he and seven other protesters including Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot as part of the "Chicago Eight", a.k.a. the "Chicago Seven" after Bobby Seale's case was separated from the others. Hayden and four others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot, but the charges were later reversed and remanded on appeal. The government did not re-try the case, and thereafter elected to dismiss the substantive charges. United States v. Dellinger, 472 F.2d 340 (7th Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 410 U.S. 970, 93 S.Ct. 1443, 35 L.Ed.2d 706 (1973).

Hayden made several subsequent well-publicized visits to North Vietnam as well as Cambodia during America's involvement in the Vietnam War, which had expanded under President Richard M. Nixon to include the adjoining nations of Laos and Cambodia, although he did not accompany his future wife, actress Jane Fonda, on her especially controversial trip to Hanoi in the spring of 1972.[10] The next year he married Fonda and they had one child, Troy Garity, born on 7 July 1973. In 1974, he appeared in a brief scene as an ER doctor in the film Death Wish. In the same year, while the Vietnam War was still ongoing, the documentary film Introduction to the Enemy, a collaboration by Fonda, Hayden, Haskell Wexler and others, was released. It depicts their travels through North and South Vietnam in spring 1974.[11]

Hayden also founded the Indochina Peace Campaign (IPC), which operated from 1972 to 1975. The IPC, operating in Boston, New York, Detroit and Santa Clara, mobilized dissent against the Vietnam War and demanded unconditional amnesty for U.S. draft evaders, among other aims. Jane Fonda, a supporter of the IPC, later turned this moniker into a name for her film production firm, IPC Films, which produced in whole or in part, movies and documentaries such as F.T.A. (1972), Introduction to the Enemy (1974), The China Syndrome (1979), Nine to Five (1980) and On Golden Pond (1981).[12][13] Hayden and Fonda divorced in 1990.

Writing about Hayden's role in the 1960s New Left, Nicholas Lemann, national correspondent for The Atlantic, said that "Tom Hayden changed America", calling him "father to the largest mass protests in American history", and Richard N. Goodwin, who was a speechwriter for presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy, said that Hayden, "without even knowing it, inspired the Great Society.[14] Staughton Lynd, though, was critical of the Port Huron and New Left concept of "participatory democracy", stating: "We must recognize that when an organization grows to a certain size, consensus decision-making is no longer possible, and some form of representative government becomes necessary."[15]

In 2007, Hayden made news for his speech at the wedding of his son Troy, where, as Hilton Als wrote in The New Yorker, he "said that he was especially happy about his son's union with actress Simone Bent, who is black, because, among other things, it was 'another step in a long-term goal of mine: the peaceful, non-violent disappearance of the white color'".[16]

Political careerEdit

During 1976, Hayden made a primary election challenge to California U.S. Senator John V. Tunney. "The radicalism of the 1960s is fast becoming the common sense of the 1970s", the New York Times reported him saying at the time.[17] Starting far behind, Hayden mounted a spirited campaign and finished a surprisingly close second in the Democratic primary. He and Fonda later initiated the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED), which formed a close alliance with then Governor Jerry Brown and promoted solar energy, environmental protection and renters' rights policies, as well as candidates for local office throughout California, more than 50 of whom would go on to be elected.[18]

Hayden later served in the California State Assembly (1982–1992) and the State Senate (1992–2000).[19] During this time, he was frequently protested by conservative groups, including Vietnamese refugees, veterans of the U.S. military and Young Americans for Freedom. He mounted a bid in the Democratic primary for California Governor during 1994 on the theme of campaign finance reform and ran for Mayor of Los Angeles during 1997, losing to incumbent Republican Richard Riordan.[citation needed]

As a member of the State Assembly, Hayden introduced the bill that became Chapter 1238 of the California Statutes of 1987. Chapter 1238 enacted Section 76060.5 of the California Education Code. Section 76060.5 allows the establishment of "student representation fees" at colleges in the California Community Colleges System. The fee has been established at several dozen colleges, and it may be used "to provide support for governmental affairs representatives of local or statewide student body organizations who may be stating their positions and viewpoints before city, county, and district governments, and before offices and agencies of state government".[20] Student representation fees are used to support the operation of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

During 1999, Hayden made a speech for the Seattle WTO protests. During 2001, he unsuccessfully sought election to the Los Angeles City Council.[21] Hayden served as a member of the advisory board for the Progressive Democrats of America, an organization created to increase progressive political cooperation and influence within the Democratic Party.[22] He served on the advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization founded in Los Angeles in 2001 that champions cultural literacy about the Middle East and North Africa. During January 2008, Hayden wrote an opinion essay for the Web site The Huffington Post endorsing Barack Obama's presidential bid in the Democratic primaries.[23] In that same year, he helped initiate Progressives for Obama (now called Progressive America Rising), a group of political progressives that provided assistance for Obama in his initial presidential campaign.[24]

Hayden was known widely in California as a staunch endorser of animal rights and was responsible for writing the bill popularly known as the Hayden Act, which improved protection of pets and extended holding periods for pets confined as strays or surrendered to shelters.[citation needed]

In 2016, Hayden ran to be one of California's representatives to the Democratic National Committee.[25] Though he originally leaned towards Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary, Hayden later announced he would support Hillary Clinton and cast his vote for her when the primary reached California.[26] He also claimed that he never endorsed Sanders and only supported his campaign with the hopes that it would push Hillary towards the Left.[26]

In his tribute to Hayden following his death, former US President Bill Clinton stated: "Hillary and I knew him for more than thirty years and valued both his words of support and his criticism."[27]

Academic careerEdit

Hayden was a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan Journalism Department in the early 1960s. The Law of the Press was one of the courses he taught. Hayden taught numerous courses on social movements, two at Scripps College—one on the Long War and one on gangs in America—and a course called "From the '60s to the Obama Generation" at Pitzer College. He also taught at Occidental College and at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. He taught a class at University of California, Los Angeles on protests from Port Huron to the present. Hayden taught a class in Political Science at the University of Southern California during the 1977-78 school year. He was the author or editor of 19 books, including The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama, Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader, and his memoir, Reunion, and served on the editorial board of The Nation. His book Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement, completed in the months before his death in October 2016, was published on January 31, 2017, by Yale University Press.

During 2007, Akashic Books released Hayden's Ending the War in Iraq. In a discussion about the book with Theodore Hamm published in the Brooklyn Rail, Hayden argues: "The apparatus of occupation is never going to turn into a peacekeeping economic development agency. We need to withdraw our stamp of approval and our tax dollars from supporting the occupation. That doesn't mean that there can't be some attempts at remedies, but these should never be used as an excuse to stay."[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Hayden lived in Los Angeles and was married to his third wife, Barbara Williams, at the time of his death. He and Williams adopted a son, Liam (born 2000). Hayden died in Santa Monica, California, on October 23, 2016, aged 76, following a lengthy illness, including a stroke.[5][29]


  • The Port Huron Statement (1962)
  • The Other Side (1966)
  • "The Politics of 'The Movement'", in Irving Howe (ed.), The Radical Papers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1966; pp. 350–364.
  • Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response (1967)
  • Trial (1970)
  • The Love of Possession Is a Disease with Them (1972)
  • Vietnam: The Struggle for Peace, 1972–73 (1973)
  • The American Future: New Visions Beyond Old Frontiers (1980)
  • Reunion: A Memoir (1988)
  • The Lost Gospel of the Earth: A Call for Renewing Nature, Spirit and Politics (1996)
  • Irish Hunger (1997)
  • Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (2001)
  • The Zapatista Reader (Introduction, 2001)
  • Rebel: A Personal History of the 1960s (2003)
  • Street Wars: Gangs and the Future of Violence (2004)
  • Radical Nomad: C. Wright Mills and His Times with Contemporary Reflections by Stanley Aronowitz, Richard Flacks and Charles Lemert (2006)
  • Ending the War in Iraq (2007)
  • Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader (2008)
  • Voices of the Chicago 8: A Generation on Trial (2008)
  • The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama (2009)
  • Bring on the Iraq Syndrome: Tom Hayden in Conversation with Theodore Hamm (2007)
  • Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters (2015)[30]
  • Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement (2017)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Tom Hayden, preeminent 1960s political radical and antiwar protester, dies at 76". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. ^ Blaine T. Browne (2015-05-18). Modern American Lives: Individuals and Issues in American History Since 1945. p. 167. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Defining Tom Hayden - Page 2 - latimes". 2000-12-10. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  4. ^ McDonald, Maureen; Schultz, John S (2010). Royal Oak (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7385-7775-3.
  5. ^ a b McFadden, Robert D. (24 October 2016). "Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Activist Turned Lawmaker, Dies at 76". The New York Times. p. B14.
  6. ^ "New Force on the Left: Tom Hayden and the Campaign Against Corporate America" by John H. Bunzel, Hoover Press, 1983, p. 8
  7. ^ "The Other Side" by Staughton Lynd, Tom Hayden, New American Library, 1967
  8. ^ "From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader" by Staughton Lynd, Andrej Grubačić, PM Press, 2010, p. 101
  9. ^ Max Frankel (December 2, 1968). "U.S. Study scores Chicago violence as "a police riot"". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  10. ^ "The Truth About My Trip To Hanoi - Jane Fonda". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Introduction to the Enemy (1974) Film: Vietnam Lesson:'Introduction to Enemy' From Jane Fonda". The New York Times. November 15, 1974. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  12. ^ "Indochina Peace Campaign, Boston Office : Records, 1972-1975 | Joseph P. Healey Library". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  13. ^ "IPC Films Production Company – filmography". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  14. ^ "Tom Hayden". The Nation. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  15. ^ "From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader" by Staughton Lynd, Andrej Grubačić, PM Press, 2010, p. 104
  16. ^ Schwartz, Benjamin. "Queen Jane, Approximately". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  17. ^ "How the late Tom Hayden went from a fiery activist to a progressive lawmaker". 1973-12-06. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  18. ^ ed. by Mari Jo Buhle .... (1998). Encyclopedia of the American left. Internet Archive. Oxford University Press.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  19. ^ "Tom Hayden". JoinCalifornia. 1939-12-11. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  20. ^ "Law section". 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  21. ^ Brown, Sandy. "Treasurer" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2017-11-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "An Endorsement of the Movement Barack Obama Leads", The Huffington Post, January 27, 2008.
  24. ^ "Progressive America Rising: Progressives For Obama". 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  25. ^ "Democratic National Committee Candidate List (Unofficial)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  26. ^ a b Solomon, Norman (2017-06-03). "With Great Respect for Tom Hayden, I Gotta Say: His Support for Hillary Clinton Makes Less and Less Sense the More He Tries to Explain It | HuffPost". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  27. ^ "Statement from President Clinton and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of Tom Hayden". Clinton Foundation. 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  28. ^ Hamm, Theodore (July–August 2007). "Bring on the Iraq Syndrome: Tom Hayden in conversation with Theodore Hamm". The Brooklyn Rail.
  29. ^ Finnegan, Michael (October 23, 2016). "Tom Hayden, 1960s radical who became champion of liberal causes, dies at 76". Los Angeles Times.
  30. ^ Tom, Hayden (2015). Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters. Seven Stories Press. p. 320. ISBN 9781609805968.

External linksEdit

California Assembly
Preceded by
Mel Levine
California State Assemblyman, 44th District
Succeeded by
Bill Hoge
California Senate
Preceded by
Herschel Rosenthal
California State Senator, 23rd district
Succeeded by
Sheila Kuehl