An inspiration to economist Alan Greenspan and many others, novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to America in 1926.
Inspired by Victor Hugo and Aristotle, her first novel, We the Living (1936), took a close look at Russian communism. "It is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write," she explained.
Rand is best known for The Fountainhead (1943), with memorable character Howard Roark, loosely based on Frank Lloyd Wright, and Atlas Shrugged (1957), her 1168-page masterpiece and last work of fiction, in which heroine Dagny Taggart forged Objectivism, a doctrine that championed self-interest and "rational selfishness."
"There are two sides to every issue," Rand believed, "one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil."
Controversial and panned by critics, she continued to write with passion that unbridled capitalism was the touchstone of success. "Pain is not a valid reason for stopping," she believed. Her heroic characters celebrated integrity, dedication, and courage.
A tribute to hard work and excellence, Rand once observed, "The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work."
A fan of poetry, Rudyard Kipling's glorious If was her favorite, and the verse was read at her funeral.
Face every challenge.