About Doris "Granny D" Haddock

Summary

Doris "Granny D" Haddock (January 24, 1910 – March 9, 2010) was an American political activist from New Hampshire. Granny D achieved national fame when she walked over 3,200 miles (5,100 km) across the United States to advocate for campaign finance reform. Her walk started in Los Angeles on January 1, 1999 when she was 88 years old. When she reached Washington, D.C. on February 29, 2000, she was 90 years old.

Biography

In 1960, Granny D began her political activism when she and her husband successfully campaigned against planned hydrogen bomb nuclear testing in Alaska, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. She and her husband retired to Dublin, New Hampshire in 1972, where Granny D served on the city planning board and was active in the community.

After the initial failed efforts of Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold to regulate campaign finances through eliminating soft money in 1995, Granny D became increasingly interested in campaign finance reform and spearheaded a petition movement. On January 1, 1999 at the age of 88, Granny D left the Rose Bowl Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California to raise awareness of and attract support for campaign finance reform by walking across the continental United States.

She walked roughly ten miles every day for 14 months, traversing California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, making many speeches along the way. The trek attracted a great deal of attention in the mass media.

When Granny D arrived in Washington, D.C., she was 90 years old (having begun the journey at 88 and having two birthdays en route), had traveled more than 3200 miles, and was greeted in the capital by a crowd of 2200 people. Several dozen members of Congress walked the final miles with her during the final day's walk from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol on the National Mall. The McCain-Feingold Act, the strongest federal reform of its time, passed not long after her walk.

Granny D wrote three books, all co-authored with Dennis Burke. In 2003, she drove around the country on a 22,000-mile voter registration effort targeting working women and minorities.

She ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 as a Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Senator Judd Gregg after the previous Democratic nominee was implicated in a campaign finance scandal. She accepted small donations only. The 2007 HBO Documentary "Run Granny Run," directed by Marlo Poras, told the story of her 2004 Senate campaign.

She continued to be active in politics to the end of her life, and celebrated her 98th, 99th and 100th birthday by lobbying for campaign finance reform at the New Hampshire State House.

The Economist wrote a moving remembrance of Granny D upon her passing in 2010.

Granny D in the News

Letters for Granny D's 2013 Birthday Celebration