Bill Hendon

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William Martin Hendon
Bill Hendon.png
Bill Hendon circa 1985
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 11th district
In office
1981–1983
Preceded by V. Lamar Gudger
Succeeded by James McClure Clarke
In office
1985–1987
Preceded by James McClure Clarke
Succeeded by James McClure Clarke
Personal details
Born (1944-11-09) November 9, 1944 (age 69)
Asheville, North Carolina
Political party Republican

William Martin Hendon (born November 9, 1944) is an author, POW/MIA activist, and two-term Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina's 11th District.

Hendon is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, where he also taught from 1968 to 1970. In the 1980s Hendon’s congressional campaigns became nationally famous due to his rivalry with Democrat Jamie Clarke. In 1982, Clarke defeated Hendon’s bid for re-election by less than 1,500 votes. In 1984 Hendon gained revenge by defeating Clarke’s bid for re-election by just two percentage points. In their third consecutive meeting in 1986 Hendon lost to Clarke by one percentage point. Despite being encouraged to run against Clarke for a fourth time in 1988, Hendon declined.

Hendon inspecting a Vietnam War-era prison, 30 miles (48 km) south of Hanoi, 1993.

His 2007 New York Times bestseller,[1] An Enormous Crime, co-written with attorney Elizabeth Stewart, argues that American soldiers were abandoned in Indochina following the Vietnam War. In its review, Publishers Weekly stated, "controversial former North Carolina congressman Hendon and attorney Stewart make the case that the U.S. knowingly left hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos in 1973, and that every presidential administration since then has covered it up.”[2] Kirkus Reviews called it “a sprawling indictment of eight U.S. Administrations.… A convincing, urgent argument.”[3]

One day prior to the release of An Enormous Crime, The Raleigh News & Observer ran a story about a passage in Douglas Brinkley’s The Reagan Diaries, wherein President Ronald Reagan, following a briefing by then-Vice President George H. W. Bush, wrote that Hendon was "off his rocker" with allegations about Americans held in Vietnam.[4] Bush’s feelings aside, after Hendon was narrowly defeated (50.7% to 49.3%) in the 1986 mid-term elections,[5] Reagan appointed him to the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Hendon withdrew his name from consideration for the post in the face of stiff Senate Democratic opposition to his environmental record, and instead accepted a position with the pro-defense American Defense Institute.[6] He resides in Washington, D.C. and remains active in the POW/MIA issue.

Tenure in the United States Congress[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
V. Lamar Gudger
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 11th congressional district

1981–1983
Succeeded by
James McClure Clarke
Preceded by
James McClure Clarke
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 11th congressional district

1985–1987
Succeeded by
James McClure Clarke

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New York Times Best Sellers: Hardcover nonfiction, June 17, 2007". New York Times. 2007-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 4/9/2007". Publishers Weekly (May 2007). 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  3. ^ "An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia". Kirkus Reviews (May 2007). 2007-04-15. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  4. ^ "Reagan dissed N.C. lawmaker in his diary". The Raleigh News & Observer. 2007-05-28. 
  5. ^ "How the West Was Won: U.S. House". Asheville Citizen (Asheville, North Carolina). 1986-11-06. p. 16. 
  6. ^ Molotsky, Irvin; Weaver, Warren, Jr. (1987-02-23). "Washington Talk: Briefing; Turning Down the T.V.A.". The New York Times (New York, NY). pp. B4. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

External links[edit]