Peace activist Tom Hayden, whose radical views were at the forefront of the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s, passed away on 23 October 2016 following a prolonged illness in Santa Monica, California. He was 76.
He was a stalwart of America’s New Left who served 18 years in California’s State Legislature and gained a dash of Hollywood glamour by marrying actress Jane Fonda.
About Tom Hayden
• As an ideological leader of the influential Students for a Democratic Society, he authored its Port Huron statement, a visionary document that still inspires anti-authoritarian and pro-democracy movements today.
• He ventured into the Deep South, where he joined voter registration campaigns and was arrested and beaten while taking part in the freedom rider protests against racial segregation.
• He became best known as one of the Chicago Eight activists, convicted on conspiracy and incitement charges following protests at the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was ultimately acquitted of all charges.
• Later he became director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center, a nonprofit left-wing think tank devoted mainly to analysis of continued US military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
• In later years, his writings were published in national publications including The New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Denver Post.
• He also served on the editorial board and was a columnist for The Nation magazine, and was the author of more than 20 books.