Tom Hayden

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Tom Hayden
Hayden outside the 2004 Democratic National Convention Wp→
Member of the California Senate
from the 23rd district
In office
Preceded by Herschel Rosenthal Wp→
Succeeded by Sheila Kuehl Wp→
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 44th district
In office
Preceded by Mel Levine Wp→
Succeeded by Bill Hoge
Personal details
Born December 11, 1939 (1939-12-11) (age 80)
Detroit, Michigan
Spouse(s) Casey Cason (1961-?)
Jane Fonda (1973-1990)
Barbara Williams Wp→ (1993-)
Alma mater University of Michigan
External images
Tom Hayden with his then-wife, Jane Fonda and their son, Troy, Santa Monica, California Wp→, 1976.

Thomas Emmet "Tom" Hayden (born December 11, 1939) is an American social and political activist and politician, known for his involvement in the animal rights, and the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s. He is the former husband of actress Jane Fonda and the father of their son, actor Troy Garity Wp→.


Early life

Hayden was born in Detroit, Michigan,to parents of Irish descent. He graduated from Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Michigan, class of 1956.[1] He later attended the University of Michigan, where he was editor of the Michigan Daily and, disenchanted by the anti-radicalism of existing groups like the National Student Association (later revealed to be a CIA front),[2] became one of the founders of the student activist group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

In 1961, he married Casey Cason, a Texas-born civil rights activist who worked for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He served as president of SDS from 1962 to 1963 and drafted its most famous work, the Port Huron Statement. From 1964 to 1968, he 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 and wrote the book Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response (1967). Hayden also played a key role in the protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Six months after the convention he and other protesters including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot as part of the "Chicago Eight". He made several high-profile trips as a peace activist to Cambodia and North Vietnam during America's involvement in the Vietnam War, including an especially controversial one in 1972 to North Vietnam with his future wife, actress Jane Fonda. The following year he married Fonda and they had one child, Troy Garity, born on 7 July 1973.

Political career

In 1976, Hayden made a primary-election challenge to sitting California U.S. Senator John V. Tunney. Starting far behind, Hayden mounted a spirited campaign and finished a surprisingly close second in the Democratic primary field. He and Fonda went on to found 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, some 100 of whom would be elected.

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

In 1999, Hayden made a speech during the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. In 2001, he unsuccessfully sought election to the Los Angeles City Council. He lives in Los Angeles and is married to actress Barbara Williams. They have a son, Liam, born in 2000.

Hayden serves as a member of the advisory board for the Progressive Democrats of America, a organization created to expand progressive political cooperation within the Democratic Party.[3]

In January 2008, Hayden wrote an op-ed piece for The Huffington Post supporting Barack Obama's presidential bid in the Democratic primaries.[4]

Academic career

Hayden has taught numerous courses on social movements, particularly his Machiavellian analysis. He taught a course called "From the '60s to the Obama Generation" at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, two courses at Scripps College, a sister school to Pitzer: one on the Long War and one on gangs in America, and has periodically taught as an assistant and adjunct professor at Occidental College.

Hayden is widely known in California as a staunch supporter of animal rights and was responsible for writing the bill popularly known as the Hayden Act,[5] which improved protection of pets and extended holding periods for pets picked up as strays or surrendered to shelters.


In 2011, Hayden made news when his speech at his and Jane Fonda's son's wedding a few years ago was reported in the May 9th issue of the New Yorker. Hayden is described as honoring his son's marriage to a black woman by remarking that it was "another step in a long-term goal of mine: the peaceful, nonviolent disappearance of the white race." A variety of conservative bloggers and commentators such as National Review's John Derbyshire have either denounced Hayden's words or pointed to his wedding speech as a example of masochistic strains within American liberalism today.


  • The Port Huron Statement (1962)
  • The Other Side (1966)
  • 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 (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)


  1. McDonald, Maureen; Schultz, John S (2010). Royal Oak (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. p. 88. . 
  2. Hugh Wilford, The Might Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge & London: Harvard University Press, 2008), p. 139.
  3. Progressive Democrats of America webpage with advisory board information
  4. "An Endorsement of the Movement Barack Obama Leads", The Huffington Post, January 27, 2008
  5. SB 1785 Senate Bill - CHAPTERED

External links

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