Born in 1910 in Laconia, New Hampshire, she attended Emerson College and lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. She was an activist for her community and for her country, remaining active until the return of chronic respiratory problems four days before her death.
She walked across the United States in the year 2000, at the age of 90, in a successful effort to promote the passage of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. In 2004, Granny D decided to challenge incumbent Senator Judd Gregg for his U.S. Senate seat. She hoped to demonstrate that ordinary people can run for office and win with the support of small donations from individuals. Despite a shortened, grassroots campaign and without the benefit of any advertising dollars, Granny D garnered an impressive 34% of the vote. Even during her last five years, Granny D traveled the country speaking about campaign finance reform and working on behalf of legislation for publicly-funded elections in New Hampshire.
In the 1960s, she and her husband, James Haddock, Sr., were instrumental in halting planned nuclear tests that would have destroyed a native fishing village and region in Alaska.
She raised two children, including the late Elizabeth Lawrenz of Washington D.C., and a son, Jim Haddock, who survives her and, with his wife, Libby, was at her side during many of her great adventures, including the final one – her passing. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
A public memorial service will be held this summer. Φ