Happy Birthday, Denis Hayes

As we count our years, we tend to look back on what we have accomplished. Today, on his birthday, we here at Earth Day Network are reflecting on the many accomplishments of Denis Hayes.

At the young age of 25, Denis was the National Coordinator of the first Earth Day, which launched the modern environmental movement. His decision to leave university to coordinate students around the country took not only great courage, but a passion for the environmental movement when it was in its infancy.

After Earth Day’s success, Denis continued to be a champion of the environmental movement. President Carter selected him to lead the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Denis also continued his education at Stanford University, receiving his Juris Doctorate and becoming a Silicon Valley attorney.

Denis has been a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, director of the Illinois Energy Office, and professor of engineering at Stanford University. And he has received the national Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Public Service as well as the highest awards bestowed by the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of America, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Commonwealth Club, among others. Time magazine selected him as one of its "Heroes of the Planet."

Currently, Denis is chairman of the board of Earth Day Network and the CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, an organization dedicated to safeguarding the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest. Their new facility, the Bullitt Center, will be the greenest commercial building in the world, combining technology and sustainable lifestyles to demonstrate the optimum example of the future of commercial buildings.

Denis’s leadership of and commitment to the environmental movement have paved the way for activists today.

Please join Earth Day Network in wishing Denis Hayes a very Happy Birthday by registering an Act of Green today!

Then, tweet us @earthdaynetwork with the hashtag #happybirthdaydenishayes, and let him know that you appreciate all he has done and continues to do.

Happy Birthday, Denis Hayes!