by Kathryn from San Francisco
|Denis Hayes, Creator of Earth Day (Hand Drawn by Kathryn Yu)
Denis Courtland Hayes was born in Wisconsin in 1944, but mainly raised in Camas, Washington. He attended college at Stanford and received an undergraduate degree in history. He later attended Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is currently the President or CEO of Bullitt Foundation, a $100 million environmental foundation located in Seattle.
Hayes left Harvard after being selected by Senator Gaylord Nelson to organize the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, about ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities. It is believed that some 20 million demonstrators participated. In 2009, the film Earth Days told the story of Earth Day which closed that year's Sundance Film Festival.
Now, Earth Day is celebrated every year and has made a difference. More people are now aware of what is happening to our Earth and are willing to help save our beloved planet. Denis Hayes is my hero because he has changed views of the Earth and reminds me of what I can do to restore the Earth.