Charles Hayes (politician)
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Charles Hayes Politician
Charles Hayes
Rep. Charles Hayes.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st district

August 23, 1983 - January 3, 1993
Harold Washington
Bobby Rush
Personal details
Charles Arthur Hayes

February 17, 1918
Cairo, Illinois, U.S.
DiedApril 8, 1997(1997-04-08) (aged 79)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic

Charles Arthur Hayes (February 17, 1918 – April 8, 1997) was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 1st congressional district, from 1983 to 1993.

Early life

Hayes was born in Cairo, Illinois, and graduated from Cairo's Sumner High School in 1935. He was a trade unionist from 1938 to 1983 and served as vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.


Hayes was a resident of Chicago for most of his adult life. Hayes was also prolific union man for 45 years. In the 1950s, he raised funds for Martin Luther King Jr.'s voter registration drive in the South. He was a civil rights leader who worked closely with King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the 1960s. Later, he was one of major labor leaders arrested during the 1980s anti-apartheid protests that eventually won the freedom of Nelson Mandela. Congressman Hayes was the CBTU's first executive vice president, serving until 1986.

Hayes was elected as a Democrat to the 98th United States Congress by a special election held on August 23, 1983, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Harold Washington, who had been elected mayor of Chicago. While a representative, Hayes was on the Committee on Education and Labor and Small Business Committee. He was most noted for pieces of legislation to encourage school dropouts to re-enter and complete their education.

His candidacy for renomination in 1992 to the 103rd United States Congress was unsuccessful, as he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Bobby Rush, partly due to the House banking scandal.

Hayes was also one of the founding members of Rainbow/PUSH, along with Jesse Jackson.


Hayes died from complications of lung cancer at the age of 79. Then-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. spoke at Hayes' funeral.

See also


  • United States Congress. "Charles Hayes (id: H000388)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard[permanent dead link] - Entry
  • Biography from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
  • Charles Hayes Biography from The HistoryMakers
  • Appearances on C-SPAN

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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