Longtime North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with cancer.
Hays, a lawyer, was also a former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives and was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in 2014.
His six terms as North Little Mayor was marked by a period of tremendous growth and progress, especially in the downtown region of the city. During Hays’ mayoral tenure, the city saw developments that included Dickey-Stephens baseball park, Simmons Bank Arena (originally Alltel Arena), the Clinton Park Bridge, and a resurgence of downtown Argenta.
An avid enthusiast of maritime history, Hays led the effort to bring a WWII submarine to North Little Rock’s shores as part of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. His efforts as mayor with expanding the city’s premiere senior citizens center resulted in it being named after him, the Patrick H. Hays Senior Citizens Center on Pershing Boulevard.
In 2014, Hays was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress. He was defeated in the general election by U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, who still holds the seat. Hays returned to private law practice after his career in public service.
Hays was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas on January 8, 1947. He graduated from North Little Rock High School, and then attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Hays joined the United States Army Reserves, reaching the rank of captain.
He is survived by his wife Linda, their daughter, Josie and three grandchildren.