Remembering B. Hayden Crawford

B. Hayden ‘‘Bunny’’ Crawford got involved.
When the well-known Tulsa attorney, 84, died Dec. 18, 2006, he left his mark on the Tulsa and national legal profession and the U.S. Navy.
Crawford was born June 29, 1922, in Tulsa to Margaret Sarah Stevenson Crawford and Burnett Hayden Crawford.
Services were Dec. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church. A private entombment was held at Rose Hill Mausoleum under the direction of Moore’s Rosewood Chapel.
He would reside here until attending the University of Michigan, graduating in 1944. He would later earn his law degree from the same university.
But it was in 1940 that Crawford made his first mark on the military. He was appointed the first student battalion commander of the Navy ROTC at the University of Michigan.
He served in the Pacific during World War II as both torpedo and gunnery officer on the USS Spot and was wounded in combat.
Crawford received a Purple Heart and commendation for his courage, leadership and inspiration to his men.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower selected Crawford to be the U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma where several cases were prosecuted and received national attention.
Among them were the Tulsa and Creek Counties conspiracy cases in which public officials, police officers and deputy sheriffs were convicted and sent to prison. The case became known as the Tulsa Liquor Conspiracy.
Several books were written on the topic including Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907-1959 (Jimmie Lewis Franklin, 1971), and And Satan Came Also: An Inside Story of a City’s Social and Political History (Albert L. McRill, 1955).
Crawford also prosecuted the case of the ‘‘St. Louis car theft ring’’ involving 208 stolen automobiles which resulted in the conviction of all 12 defendants.
He also was successful in the defense of the Douglas ‘‘jet noise’’ cases on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. The cases set a national precedent.
Other federal service included the role as assistant deputy attorney general of the U.S. in charge of all U.S. Attorneys, and in 1958 and 1960 was selected by Attorney General Elliott L. Richardson to be Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. with special duties and as the representative of the Attorney General to the White House and U.S. Congress.
Crawford established law firms in Tulsa from 1949 to 1954 and from 1960 to 2005, including Crawford, Crow, Bainbridge, Wagner, Litchfield & Harris, P.A.
They would represent clients on cases involving antitrust, securities, oil and gas, probate, matrimonial, bankruptcy, criminal defense, multi-district and class action litigation.
He was instrumental in getting the War Memorial USS Batfish to Muskogee.
Service continued as past President of the Tulsa Kiwanis Club, Navy League and various university and military organizations, as president or officer of numbers civic and professional organizations.
Survivors include his wife Melanie of the home; a son, Robert Hayden Crawford and daughter-in-law, Betty Crawford of Tulsa; one daughter, Margaret Louise Alverson and son-in-law Ken Alverson of Glenpool; a cousin, Mrs. Harry (Carthel) Burt of Tulsa; four grandchildren, Robert Hayden Crawford, Jr., and granddaughter-in-law, Rachel Crawford of Broken Arrow; Katheryn Lindsey Hunter and grandson-in-law Mark Hunter of Broken Arrow; John (Jay) Allan Thompson of Tulsa, and Jennifer Anne Corley and grandson-in-law, Jim Corley of Depew; three great grandchildren and his step family.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?