A true inspiration.
Doris "Granny D" Haddock, died at the ripe age of 100, lived in the woods between Dublin and Peterborough, New Hampshire, made famous as Our Town by Thornton Wilder. She was born January 24, 1910 in Laconia, New Hampshire and attended Emerson College before marrying James Haddock.
Doris raised two children during the Great Depression and later she worked at a shoe company for twenty years. With her husband, Jim, Doris helped stop the planned use of hydrogen bombs in Alaska in 1960, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. The couple retired in 1972, during which time Doris served on the Planning Board of her town and was active in community affairs. She nursed Jim through 10 years of Alzheimer’s disease.
After the defeat of Senator McCain and Senator Feingold's first attempt to remove unregulated "soft" money from campaigns in 1995, Doris became interested in campaign reform and led a petition movement. On January 1, 1999–at the age of 89–she began a 3,200–mile walk across the country to demonstrate her concern for the issue, walking ten miles each day for fourteen months and it was all over the news. Doris traveled as a pilgrim, walking until given shelter, fasting until given food. With the unflagging generosity of strangers she met along the way, Doris never went without a meal or a bed. She trekked through over 1,000 miles of desert, climbed the Appalachian Range in blizzard conditions and even skied 100 miles after a historic snowfall made roadside walking impossible. When she arrived in Washington D.C., Granny D was met by 2,200 supporters representing a wide variety of reform groups. Several dozen members of Congress walked the final miles with her. Granny D walking with supporters It took two more years to gain passage of the McCain/Feingold bill, during which time Doris engaged in walking fasts around the Capitol, organized rallies in many states, and held demonstrations that twice landed her in DC jails.
In 2003, Doris had her eyes on the upcoming election, and so she drove around the country on a 22,000 mile voter registration effort targeting working women and minorities. This trek was cut short in June 2004, when Doris heard that the presumed Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in NH had dropped out of the race days before the filing deadline. 94 years old and still eager to "raise a little hell," Doris surprised everyone by deciding to challenge the Republican incumbent. Her insurgent, grassroots campaign defied all expectations. Politicians and pundits alike have lauded the work of this indefatigable great–grandmother of sixteen: “I believe she represents all that is good in America. She has taken up this struggle to clean up American politics… Granny D, you exceed any small, modest contributions those of us who have labored in the vineyards of reform have made to this Earth. We are grateful for you.” Sen. John McCain “Doris Haddock is a true patriot, and our nation has been blessed by her remarkable life.” Jimmy Carter “The problem with Granny D…is that she makes the rest of us look like such schlumps.” Molly Ivins