Class of 1957
Activist for civil rights, social equality, animal rights, environmental issues and political reform
Co-founder to Students for a Democratic Society
California State Assemblyman and Senator
Author or editor of nineteen books including, Reunion
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1996
Tom Hayden attended Dondero High School and served as the editor of the Acorn, the school newspaper. He graduated in June, 1957 and then attended the University of Michigan where he also served as editor of the school paper, and graduated with a bachelor's degree.
Mr. Hayden was one of the co-founders of the Students for a Democratic Society in 1961. As a member of the SDS he actively participated as a Freedom Rider in the South advocating political and civil rights. He also was an active opponent to the Viet Nam War and one of the Chicago Seven who were indicted for protests conducted at the 1968 Democratic Party convention.
In 1982, Tom Hayden was elected to the California state assembly, and ten years later he was elected to the California state senate. In the 18 years he served in the California state legislature Hayden introduced progressive legislation and chaired key committees on the environment, higher education and labor. His work has resulted in several awards and accolades. The Sacramento Bee described him as the "conscience of the Senate". The Nation magazine named him one of the 50 greatest progressives of the 20th century, and the New York Times called him the "single greatest figure of the 1960's student movement."
Tom Hayden has received formal recognition for his work from many organizations including the Sierra Club, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The American Lung Association and PAW-PAC (animal welfare).
Mr. Hayden has authored or edited nineteen books including Reunion, a political autobiography. After over fifty years of activism, politics and writing, Tom Hayden is still a leading voice for ending war, erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, protecting animal rights and reforming politics through a more participatory democracy.
In 1996, Tom Hayden was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame.