Early life and career
Hadley was born in 1936 and grew up near Thomasville at Pebble Hill, a former cotton plantation in Thomas County, Georgia. At the time of Hadley's birth, Pebble Hill was mainly used for hunting. He was the tenth of 15 children, and is the grandson of a slave who worked at Pebble Hill.
After graduating from high school, he joined the United States Air Force, where he worked with supplies and logistics. He has been married for more than sixty years and has three children. His tenure included postings in Europe, the Middle East and Vietnam. After 28 years he retired with the rank of chief master sergeant. The family moved back to Thomasville and Hadley started working for the United States Postal Service, until his retirement in 1997.
Hadley is a Prince Hall Freemason. In 2018, Thomas University awarded him an honorary bachelor's degree in business administration, in recognition of his work in the Air Force and the community.