SANTA MONICA (CNS) — Former 1960s radical and longtime California lawmaker Tom Hayden died Sunday, Oct. 23, in Santa Monica after a lengthy illness at age 76.
Hayden served in the California Assembly in 1982-92 and the state Senate in 1992-2000. He also made unsuccessful runs for the Democratic nomination for senator in 1976 and governor in 1994 and lost races for Los Angeles mayor in 1997 and a City Council seat in 2001.
Hayden — a native of suburban Detroit and was editor of the student newspaper at the University of Michigan — was an early participant in the 1960s civil rights movement, an activity that earned him a number of arrests in the South.
He helped found the Students for a Democratic Society in 1961 and was a leader in demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
In 1969, Hayden and seven other demonstration leaders were indicted by the Justice Department on charges of inciting a riot at the convention.
His subsequent conviction and five-year prison sentence was overturned by a higher court and he was not re-tried.
Along the way, he met activist and actress Jane Fonda in 1971 and a relationship ensued that culminated in their 1973 marriage. They divorced in 1989.
Hayden suffered a stroke in May 2015, telling City News Service from his hospital bed at UCLA Medical Center that it happened when he was in Kern County “with a group of people concerned about the effects of fracking and oil drilling.”
Tom Quinn, Gov. Jerry Brown’s former campaign manager, worked with Hayden during Quinn’s tenure as head of the California Air Resources Board.
“(Hayden) was an extraordinary man who was one of the earliest and most vigorous leaders of the anti-Vietnam War movement,” Quinn said. “He was a visionary, he was hard-driving and very focused on his goals.”
Quinn, who spent time with Hayden and Fonda at the couple’s Laurel Springs Ranch, said Hayden also found time to focus on his favorite sport of baseball.
“He was a lover of baseball,” Quinn said. “I spent several weekends at his ranch and played baseball. He had a whole baseball diamond set up. He loved politics, baseball and fishing, I’m not sure in what order.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti mourned Hayden’s death on Twitter.
“A political giant and dear friend has passed,” Garcetti said. “Tom Hayden fought harder for what he believed than just about anyone I have known. RIP Tom.”
Hayden is survived by wife Barbara Williams; their adopted son Liam; his son with Fonda, Troy Garity; and sister Mary Hayden Frey.