Tom Hayden

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
December 7, 1992 – November 30, 2000
Preceded byHerschel Rosenthal
Succeeded bySheila Kuehl
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 44th district
In office
December 6, 1982 – November 30, 1992
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.
Political partyDemocratic
Children2, including Troy Garity
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
External image
image icon Tom Hayden with his then-wife, Jane Fonda, and their son, Troy, Santa Monica, California.

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 role as an anti-war, civil rights, and intellectual activist in the 1960s, authoring the Port Huron Statement and standing trial in the Chicago Seven case.

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 life and activism

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 as a teenager.[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. At the National Student Association convention in Minneapolis in August 1960, Hayden witnessed a dramatic intervention by Sandra Cason. To a standing ovation she turned back a motion denying support for sit-ins in the struggle against racial segregation: “I cannot say to a person who suffers injustice, ‘Wait,’ And having decided that I cannot urge caution, I must stand with him.” Alan Haber of the fledgling Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) recruited her on the spot. Stirred by her "ability to think morally [and] express herself poetically," Hayden soon followed her into the left-wing grouping.[5] They married in October the following year.

Undeterred at having been beaten senseless by a white mob in McComb, Mississippi while covering the Freedom Rides for the National Student News,[6] Hayden himself became a Freedom Rider. On December 10, 1961, the Haydens participated in one of the many “freedom rides” taking place in response to the 1960 Boynton v. Virginia decision. It was from a prison cell in Albany, Georgia, where their ride was to land him, that Hayden began writing the SDS manifesto.

The Port Huron vision and SDS

Refined and adopted at the first Students for Democratic Society (SDS) convention in June 1962, the Port Huron Statement called for a "new left" committed, in the spirit of participatory democracy, to "deliberativeness, honesty [and] reflection."[7] The sponsoring League for Industrial Democracy (LID) took immediate issue. Although The Statement did express regret at the "perversion of the older left by Stalinism," it omitted the LID's standard denunciation of communism. Hayden was called to a meeting where, refusing any further concession, he clashed with Michael Harrington, as he later would with Irving Howe.[8]

Tom Hayden was elected SDS president for the 1962–1963 academic year, but his wife Sandra Cason "Casey" Hayden left Ann Arbor, and left him, heeding the call to return to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Atlanta. She later recalled that in contrast to the interminable debates she had witnessed in Ann Arbor, in SNCC discussions the focus was on action and women had a voice.[5] The Haydens divorced in 1965. That year, with other SNCC women, Casey Hayden coauthored "Sex and Caste"[9] since regarded as a founding document of second-wave feminism.[10]

Convinced, in the words of the Statement, that students must "look outwards to the less exotic but more lasting struggles for justice," and with $5000 from United Automobile Workers, Hayden's first SDS initiative was the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP).[11] SDS community organizers would help draw white neighbourhoods into an "interacial movement of the poor".[12] By the end of 1964 ERAP had ten inner-city projects engaging 125 student volunteers.[13]

President of the United Packinghouse Workers of America Ralph Helstein arranged for Hayden to meet with Saul Alinsky. With twenty-five years experience in Chicago and across the country, Alinsky was considered the father of community organizing. To Helstein's dismay, Alinsky dismissed Hayden's venture into the field as naive and doomed to failure.[14]

Hayden committed himself to the effort. For three years in Newark, he worked with a community union to organize poor black residents to take on slumlords, city inspectors and others. He was there to witness the 1967 Newark Riots which, in Rebellion in Newark (1967), he tried to place in a larger social and economic context.[15] His profile in Newark attracted the attention of the FBI. “In view of the fact that Hayden is an effective speaker who appeals to intellectual groups and has also worked with and supported the Negro people in their program in Newark," agents recommended that he "be placed on the Rabble Rouser Index.”[16]

Hayden was later to suggest that if ERAP across the country had failed to build to greater success (the promised "interracial movement of the poor") it was because of the escalating U.S. commitment in Vietnam: "Once again the government met an internal crisis by starting an external crisis."[17]

Anti-war activist

In 1965, while still committed in Newark, Hayden, along with Communist Party USA member Herbert Aptheker and Quaker peace activist Staughton Lynd, undertook a controversial visit to North Vietnam. 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.[18][19] Staughton Lynd later wrote that the New Left disavowed "the Anti-Communism of the previous generation", and 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."[20]

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 the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence later described as a police riot.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23] The next year he married Fonda and they had one child, Troy Garity, born on July 7, 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.[24]

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).[25][26] Hayden and Fonda divorced in 1990.

New Left legacy

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."[27] 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."[28]

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 race.'"[29]

Career in electoral politics

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.[30] 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.[31]

Hayden later served in the California State Assembly (1982–1992) and the State Senate (1992–2000).[32] During this time, he was frequently protested by conservative groups, including Vietnamese refugees, military veterans, and members of 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 in 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".[33] 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.[34] 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.[35] 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 Huffington Post's website endorsing Barack Obama's presidential bid in the Democratic primaries.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39] He also claimed that he never endorsed Sanders and only supported his campaign with the hopes that it would push Hillary towards the Left.[39]

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."[40]

The Guardian alleged that Hayden insisted to the end that he remained a radical. “I’m Jefferson in terms of democracy,” he said, “I’m Thoreau in terms of environment, and Crazy Horse in terms of social movements.”[41] In his last years, however, he also described himself as "an archeological dig."[42][43]

Academic career

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."[44]

Personal life

He was married to actress and social activist Jane Fonda for 17 years, and was the father of actor Troy Garity. Hayden lived in Los Angeles beginning in 1971[43] 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.[45][46] He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, California,[47] where he was the first interment in "Eternal Meadow," an eco-friendly section.[48]

Popular culture


  • 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)[49]
  • Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement (2017)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Tom Hayden, preeminent 1960s political radical and antiwar protester, dies at 76". Washington Post. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Blaine T. Browne (2015). Modern American Lives: Individuals and Issues in American History Since 1945. p. 167. ISBN 978-0765629104. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Defining Tom Hayden". December 10, 2000. p. 2. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  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 Smith, Harold L. (2015). "Casey Hayden: Gender and the Origins of SNCC, SDS, and the Women's Liberation Movement". In Turner, Elizabeth Hayes; Cole, Stephanie; Sharpless, Rebecca (eds.). Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives. University of Georgia Press. pp. 295–318. ISBN 978-0820347905.
  6. ^ Josh Zeitz, "Remembering Tom Hayden 1939–2016. Politico Magazine. December 31, 2016
  7. ^ The Port Huron Statement.
  8. ^ Todd Gitlin (1993). The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. Bantam. pp. 377–409. ISBN 978-0553372120.
  9. ^ Document 86A: Casey Hayden (aka Sandra Cason) and Mary King, "Sex and Caste," November 18, 1965, Liberation Magazine, April 1966, Elaine DeLott Baker Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. pp. 35–36.
  10. ^ Hodgson, Godfrey (October 27, 2016). "Tom Hayden obituary". The Guardian.
  11. ^ New Left Notes, June 10, 1968; Anatomy of a Revolutionary Movement, p. 16.
  12. ^ Heather Frost (2001). An Interracial Movement of the Poor: Community Organizing and the New Left in the 1960s. New York: New York University press. ISBN 0-8147-2697-6.
  13. ^ Kirkpatrick Sale (1973), SDS: The Rise and Development of The Students for a Democratic Society. Random House, pp. 86–87
  14. ^ Sanford Horwitt (1989) Let Them Call Me Rebel: The Life and Legacy of Saul Alinsky. New York. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 525
  15. ^ Tom Hayden (1967), Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response, Vintages Books
  16. ^ Michael Finnegan (October 23, 2016). "The radical inside the system’: Tom Hayden, protester-turned-politician, dies at 76." Los Angeles Times
  17. ^ McDowell, Manfred (2013). "A Step into America". New Politics. XIV (2): 133–141.
  18. ^ "New Force on the Left: Tom Hayden and the Campaign Against Corporate America" by John H. Bunzel, Hoover Press, 1983, p. 8
  19. ^ "The Other Side" by Staughton Lynd, Tom Hayden, New American Library, 1967
  20. ^ "From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader" by Staughton Lynd, Andrej Grubačić, PM Press, 2010, p. 101
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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).
  23. ^ "The Truth About My Trip To Hanoi - Jane Fonda". Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  24. ^ "Introduction to the Enemy (1974) Film: Vietnam Lesson:'Introduction to Enemy' From Jane Fonda". The New York Times. November 15, 1974. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  25. ^ "Indochina Peace Campaign, Boston Office : Records, 1972-1975 | Joseph P. Healey Library". Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  26. ^ "IPC Films Production Company – filmography". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  27. ^ "Tom Hayden". The Nation. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  28. ^ "From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader" by Staughton Lynd, Andrej Grubačić, PM Press, 2010, p. 104
  29. ^ Schwartz, Benjamin. "Queen Jane, Approximately". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  30. ^ "How the late Tom Hayden went from a fiery activist to a progressive lawmaker". December 6, 1973. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  31. ^ ed. by Mari Jo Buhle .... (1998). Encyclopedia of the American left. Internet Archive. Oxford University Press.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  32. ^ "Tom Hayden". JoinCalifornia. December 11, 1939. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  33. ^ "Law section". January 1, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  34. ^ Brown, Sandy. "Treasurer" (PDF). Archived from the original on November 14, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 28, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "An Endorsement of the Movement Barack Obama Leads", The Huffington Post, January 27, 2008.
  37. ^ "Progressive America Rising: Progressives For Obama". March 25, 2008. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  38. ^ "Democratic National Committee Candidate List (Unofficial)" (PDF). Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  39. ^ a b Solomon, Norman (June 3, 2017). "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 November 21, 2017.
  40. ^ "Statement from President Clinton and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of Tom Hayden". Clinton Foundation. October 24, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  41. ^ Godfrey Hodgson (October 27, 2016). "Tom Hayden obituary, The Guardian.
  42. ^
  43. ^ a b
  44. ^ Hamm, Theodore (July–August 2007). "Bring on the Iraq Syndrome: Tom Hayden in conversation with Theodore Hamm". The Brooklyn Rail.
  45. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (October 24, 2016). "Tom Hayden, Civil Rights and Antiwar Activist Turned Lawmaker, Dies at 76". The New York Times. p. B14.
  46. ^ Finnegan, Michael (October 23, 2016). "Tom Hayden, 1960s radical who became champion of liberal causes, dies at 76". Los Angeles Times.
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ Tom, Hayden (2015). Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters. Seven Stories Press. p. 320. ISBN 9781609805968.

Further reading

  • Edited by Mark L. Levine, George C. McNamee and Daniel Greenberg / Foreword by Aaron Sorkin. The Trial of the Chicago 7: The Official Transcript. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2020. ISBN 978-1982155094. OCLC 1162494002
  • Edited with an introduction by Jon Wiener. Conspiracy in the Streets: The Extraordinary Trial of the Chicago Seven. Afterword by Tom Hayden and drawings by Jules Feiffer. New York: The New Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1565848337
  • Edited by Judy Clavir and John Spitzer. The Conspiracy Trial: The extended edited transcript of the trial of the Chicago Eight. Complete with motions, rulings, contempt citations, sentences and photographs. Introduction by William Kunstler and foreword by Leonard Weinglass. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1970. ISBN 0224005790. OCLC 16214206
  • Schultz, John. The Conspiracy Trial of the Chicago Seven. Foreword by Carl Oglesby. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. ISBN 9780226760742. (Originally published in 1972 as Motion Will Be Denied.)

External links

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


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