Hayzel Burton Daniels, Class of 1927
Athlete, Legislator, Judge
He was born in Fort Clark, Texas in 1907. Hayzel’s family moved to Fort Huachuca in 1913. Education was the number one priority in the Daniel’s family. Hayzel’s ambition was an education and a career in football where he was known as the “Flying Ebony.” Hayzel was the fastest halfback in football in the state while at Tucson High. He earned All-American Honorable Mention his senior year. He completed his college degree in 1939 at the University of Arizona.
Following the University of Arizona, Hayzel taught school in Texas and at Fort Huachuca where he concluded that equal education opportunities were a matter of law not education. After serving overseas in World War II, Hayzel returned to the University of Arizona determined to enter the field of law. When he finished law school Hayzel was convinced that he was needed in Arizona and that he should practice in Phoenix. Hayzel became Arizona’s second black lawyer and actually was the first black lawyer who passed the bar in Arizona and practiced in Arizona. It was not very long before Hayzel Daniels realized he could do even more for his people by getting into the state legislature and changing laws. As one of Arizona’s first black legislators in the state, Hayzel challenged desegregation in the schools and was influential in securing legislation and subsequent court decisions to end school segregation. After becoming Arizona’s first black Assistant Attorney General, the Mayor of Phoenix appointed Hayzel to the position of City Magistrate. He took the bench in 1965 until he retired.