Tom Hayden, famed 1960s anti-war activist, dies at 76

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Tom Hayden was long past his heyday of political rebellion and the Chicago 7 trial when he died on Sunday at age 76. But in American culture, he remained an enduring symbol of a time when young people took history into their own hands.

Hayden reinvented himself many times, moving from the streets in the 1960s to the halls of California government in the 1970s, going from a long-haired protester who stunned many by marrying glamorous actress Jane Fonda to a lawmaker in a suit and tie.

But even when his hair turned white, he never escaped his past.

Hayden's 1960s were a decade of dissent marked by civil rights sit-ins, anti-war marches, the Chicago riots and scenes of kids being tear-gassed and clubbed on American campuses.

He spoke many times about the era that planted his name in the American consciousness as a radical firebrand, anti-Vietnam War protester and defendant in the Chicago 7 conspiracy trial.

"Rarely, if ever, in American history has a generation begun with higher ideals and experienced greater trauma than those who lived fully the short time from 1960 to 1968," he wrote in his autobiography "Reunion."

Hayden sometimes wished aloud that he could move beyond that relatively brief, explosive time when his image was set in stone.

"I can't get past that," he said in 2008. "... I can be like 68 years old and I'm still trouble because [people are] thinking about something in Vietnam or they're thinking about Jane Fonda."

Less remembered were the 19 books he wrote, the countless lectures, blog posts, the 100-plus legislative bills he shepherded to approval or his advocacy for the environment.