Home / Actors / Bill Ayers Biography

Bill Ayers Biography

Bill Ayers, teacher and activist, came to be in Oak Park, Illinois. During his undergraduate studies in the University of Michigan, Ayers became involved with all the Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) as well as the movement to finish the war in Vietnam. He and several others founded the Weather Underground, considering the anti-war movement needed to make use of violence, if necessary, to reach its aims.

Activist, teacher, writer, member of the Weathermen (later known as the Weather Underground). Created William Charles Ayers on December 26, 1944, in Oak Park, Illinois. A former extreme activist, Bill Ayers has created himself as an educator and writer. His dad was a business executive and his mom was a homemaker.

He joined his older brother Tim to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor after graduating in the school. At the university, Ayers became politically active, joining the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which sought societal and political change and fought U.S. engagement in Vietnam. Returning to the university, Ayers continued to be engaged in political and social causes, particularly the anti-war movement. He graduated in 1968 using a bachelor’s degree in American studies.

After school, Ayers dedicated much of his time to his activism. He was among the demonstrators in the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Developing a more militant variant of the SDS, Ayers helped found the Weathermen the next year. The group believed more extreme measures were needed to stop the war in Vietnam. In October 1969, the Weathermen took to the streets in what was known as the “Days of Rage” demonstrations. The event started off using the bombing of a statue in Chicago’s Haymarket Square and after that erupted into a battle involving the group members as well as law enforcement. Throughout the battle, 287 Weathermen were detained.

Even after these departures, the group stayed active. Ayers participated in the 1971 bombing of the Capitol building as well as the 1972 bombing of the Pentagon, according to his 2001 novel Fugitive Days: A Memoir. He stayed underground for a decade. The two decided to come out of hiding in 1980 after the arrival of the second child together, a son named Malik. (Their older son Zayd was born in 1977.)

National charges against Ayers and Dohrn were blown off because of “improper surveillance,” according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times. Remaining on there, he worked as an educator while focusing on a doctorate in curriculum and teaching, which he finished in 1987. Ayers joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1992.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Ayers discovered himself in the middle of media maelstrom. His link to Democratic nominee Barack Obama became an issue brought up by John McCain’s campaign, which made automated calls to voters in a number of states, including Nevada and Wisconsin.

Obama and Ayers have understood each other for a long time. Ayers and Dohrn hosted an occasion for Obama at their house in the mid-1990s during Obama’s first campaign for the Illinois Senate. They both have worked with two nonprofit groups, the Woods Fund of Chicago and Chicago Anneberg Challenge, over recent years. They’ve not been in contact with each other, yet, since 2005 excluding one chance encounter within their common area in 2007, based on a report in The New York Times. “The proposition that Ayers was a political advisor to Obama or someone who shaped his political viewpoints is patently untrue,” said Obama campaign representative Ben LaBolt to The New York Times.

Ayers, a professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago, is on sabbatical for the 2008-2009 academic year. He lives in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood with Bernardine Dohrn.

Bill Ayers Biography