by Dennis Hayes, Mother Earth News
Denis Hayes was national coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 — an event often credited with launching the modern American environmental movement. He is the recipient of numerous public-service awards, including the 1979 Jefferson Medal for Greatest Public Service by an Individual under 35; he was also named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Look magazine. Hayes remains chairman of the board of the international Earth Day Network (which operates in 160 countries). He also is president of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental philanthropic organization based in Seattle.