List of people influenced by Ayn Rand

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905–1982) has had a significant influence on a variety of people, including writers, artists and political figures.[1] Individuals included in this list meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • they have identified at some point in their lives as followers of Rand's philosophy of Objectivism; or
  • they have been involved with self-identified Objectivist organizations, such as the Nathaniel Branden Institute, the Ayn Rand Institute, or The Atlas Society; or
  • they have described Rand or her works as an important influence on their lives.

Individuals who do not meet those criteria, but have mentioned being a "fan" or enjoying Rand's works, are not included.


  • John Aglialoro[2] (1943– ), an American businessman and film producer.
  • John A. Allison IV[3] (1948– ), an American businessman and the former CEO and president of the Cato Institute.
  • Gloria Álvarez[4] (1985– ), a Guatemalan radio and television presenter, author, and libertarian political commentator.
  • Martin Anderson[5] (1936–2015), an economist, policy analyst, author, and advisor to President Ronald Reagan.


Former congressman Bob Barr was introduced to Rand's writings by his mother.[6]
  • Bob Barr[7] (1948– ), a former member of the United States House of Representatives who was the Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.[8]
  • Petr Beckmann[9] (1924–1993), a statistician and physicist who advocated for libertarianism and nuclear power.
  • David Bergland[10] (1935– ), the Libertarian Party's nominee in the 1984 United States presidential election.
  • Sonja Bernhardt[11] (1959– ), an Australian businesswoman.
  • Andrew Bernstein[12] (1949– ), a professor of philosophy.
  • Robert Bidinotto[13] (1949– ), a novelist, journalist, editor, and lecturer.
  • Harry Binswanger[14] (1944– ), an American philosopher and former editor of The Objectivist Forum.
  • Walter Block[15] (1941– ), an American Austrian School economist and anarcho-capitalist theorist.
  • Peter Boettke[16] (1960– ), an American economist of the Austrian School.
  • Barbara Branden[17] (1929–2013), a Canadian writer, editor, and lecturer. Branden wrote two biographies of Rand, Who is Ayn Rand? (1962) and The Passion of Ayn Rand (1986).
  • Nathaniel Branden[17] (1930–2014), a Canadian–American psychotherapist and writer. He was Rand's close associate and romantic partner during the 1950s and 1960s, when they co-founded The Objectivist Newsletter and Branden actively promoted Rand's ideas. Rand and Branden split acrimoniously in 1968.
  • Jeff Britting[18] (1957– ), an American composer, playwright, author, and producer. He worked on the 1997 documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life.
  • Yaron Brook[19] (1961– ), an Israeli-born American entrepreneur, author, and former academic. Since 2000 he has served as the president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.


Economist Tyler Cowen has cited Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal as an important influence.
  • Bryan Caplan[20] (1971– ), an American economist.
  • Doug Casey,[21] an American investment advisor and writer.
  • Roy Childs[21] (1949–1992), an American libertarian essayist and policy analyst with the Cato Institute. He wrote several essays challenging Rand's views on specific topics, most notably anarchism.
  • Edward Cline[22][23] (1946– ), an American novelist and essayist.
  • Tyler Cowen[24] (1962– ), an American economist and writer. He is a professor at George Mason University and is co-author of the economics blog Marginal Revolution.
  • Mark Cuban[2][25] (1958– ), an American businessman and television personality. He owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and appears on the television series Shark Tank.


  • Steve Ditko[26] (1927–2018), an American comic book artist and writer who created or co-created a number of characters, including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Question, the Creeper, and Mr. A.


  • Edith Efron[5] (1922–2001), an American journalist and author, whose books included The News Twisters and The Apocalyptics.
  • Marc Emery[27] (1958– ), a Canadian entrepreneur and politician who is an activist for the legality of cannabis.
  • Alex Epstein (1980– ), an American author, energy theorist and industrial policy pundit. He is the founder and President of the Center for Industrial Progress, a for-profit think tank located in San Diego, California, and a former fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute.


  • Bosch Fawstin,[28] an Eisner nominated American cartoonist
  • Malcolm Fraser[29] (1930–2015), an Australian politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983.[30]


Political writer Pamela Geller named her blog Atlas Shrugs as an homage to Atlas Shrugged.[31]
  • Pamela Geller[32] (1958– ), an American political commentator and co-founder of the organization Stop Islamization of America.
  • Terry Goodkind[33] (1948–2020), an American novelist best known for his series of fantasy novels, The Sword of Truth.
  • Allan Gotthelf[21] (1942–2013), an American philosopher whose books include On Ayn Rand.
  • Alan Greenspan[17] (1926– ), an American economist and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He contributed to Rand's 1966 essay collection Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.


  • Amber Heard[34] (1986– ), an American television and movie actress.
  • Robert Hessen (1936– ),[5] an American economic and business historian.
  • Stephen Hicks[35] (1960– ), a Canadian-American philosopher.
  • Jonathan Hoenig[36] (1975– ), an American investor and financial commentator.
  • Erika Holzer,[37] an American novelist and essayist, whose books include Double Crossing, Eye for an Eye, and Ayn Rand: My Fiction-writing Teacher.
  • John Hospers[21][38] (1918–2011), a philosopher who became the first presidential candidate of the United States Libertarian Party. He had extensive discussions of philosophy with Rand during the 1960s, both in person and through letters, as documented in Letters of Ayn Rand.


  • Penn Jillette[2] (1955– ), an American entertainer and author best known for his work in the stage magic team Penn & Teller.
  • Elan Journo[39] (1976– ), a writer specializing in foreign policy. In 2010 he was appointed the Director of Policy Research for the Ayn Rand Institute.


  • Selvaraghavan Kasthuri Raja[40] (1975– ), an Indian film director, producer, script writer, screenwriter and lyricist who works mostly in Tamil language and Telugu language films.
  • Michelle Marder Kamhi, an American art critic and co-author of the book What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand.
  • David Kelley[21] (1949– ), an American philosopher. In 1990 he founded the Institute for Objectivist Studies (later renamed The Atlas Society) to promote Objectivism.
  • Matt Kibbe, President and Chief Community Organizer[1] of Free the People, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting libertarian ideals
  • James M. Kilts[41] (1948– ), an American businessman and former CEO of The Gillette Company.
  • Stephan Kinsella[42] (1965– ), an American intellectual property lawyer and author.
  • Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard[43] (1966– ), a Danish political scientist and professor at the University of Copenhagen.


  • Anton LaVey[44] (1930–1997), founder of the Church of Satan.
  • James G. Lennox[45] (1948– ), a professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • John David Lewis[46] (1955–2012), a political scientist, historian and Objectivist scholar.
  • Liu Junning[47] (1961– ), a Chinese political scientist.
  • Edwin A. Locke[21] (1938– ), an American psychologist and a pioneer in goal-setting theory.
  • Roderick T. Long[48] (1964– ), an American professor of philosophy at Auburn University and a libertarian blogger. He is an editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
  • Leon Louw[49] (1948– ), a South African intellectual, author, speaker and policy advisor.
  • Donald Luskin[2] (1954– ), an American financial consultant and writer.


Philosopher Tibor R. Machan discovered Rand's works while serving in the United States Air Force.[50]
  • Tibor R. Machan[21][51] (1939–2016), a Hungarian American philosopher who taught at Auburn University.
  • John Mackey[2][25] (1953– ), an American businessman who co-founded Whole Foods Market.
  • Wendy McElroy[21] (1951– ), a Canadian author, political activist, and co-founder of The Voluntaryist magazine.
  • Paul McKeever[52] (1966– ), a Canadian politician and leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario.
  • Gordon McLendon[21] (1921–1986), radio pioneer and founder of the Liberty Broadcasting System.
  • Mark Meckler[53] (1962– ), an American Tea Party activist who co-founded the Tea Party Patriots and later founded Citizens for Self-Governance.
  • Mike Mentzer[21] (1951–2001), professional bodybuilder and winner of the International Federation of BodyBuilders Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions.
  • Frank Miller[26] (1957– ), an American writer, artist, and film director whose works include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City.
  • Fred Miller,[21] an emeritus professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University.
  • Darla Moore[41] (1954– ), an American philanthropist and partner in the private investment firm Rainwater, Inc.


  • Victor Niederhoffer[54] (1943– ), an American hedge fund manager and author.
  • David Nolan[55] (1943–2010), an American activist and politician who helped found the Libertarian Party and who invented the Nolan Chart.


Musician Neil Peart wrote lyrics for several songs that were influenced by Rand's ideas.
  • Neal Patterson[56] (1949–2017), the CEO of Cerner Corporation and a co-owner of the Sporting Kansas City soccer team.
  • Rand Paul (1963– ), a United States senator from Kentucky.
  • Ron Paul[21][57] (1935– ), a former United States congressman from Texas, who ran twice for the Republican Party presidential nomination and once as the Libertarian Party nominee.
  • Michael Paxton[58] (1957– ), an American filmmaker who directed the documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life.
  • Neil Peart[21] (1952–2020), the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush.
  • Amy Peikoff[59] (c. 1968– ), an American writer and academic.
  • Kira Peikoff[60] (1985– ), an American journalist and novelist.
  • Leonard Peikoff[17] (1933– ), a Canadian-American philosopher and Rand's legal heir. He founded the Ayn Rand Institute in 1985. His books include The Ominous Parallels and Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.
  • Mark Pellegrino[61] (1965– ), an American actor of film and television.
  • Lindsay Perigo[62] (1951– ), a former New Zealand television and radio broadcasting personality, who was the first leader of the Libertarianz political party.
  • Robert Prechter[21] (1949– ), an American author and stock market analyst, whose books include Conquer the Crash.


Activist Mary Ruwart described Atlas Shrugged as her introduction to libertarian ideas.
  • Keith Raniere[63][64] (1960- ), an American self described self-help guru, and founder of a multi-level marketing company NXIVM that has been described as a cult.
  • Douglas B. Rasmussen[21] (1948– ), an American philosopher and professor at St. John's University. He co-edited The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand, a 1984 collection of essays about Objectivism.
  • George Reisman[65] (1937– ), an American economist and professor emeritus at Pepperdine University.
  • John Ridpath[21] (1936–2021), a Canadian intellectual historian. He was one of the directors of the Ayn Rand Institute from 1994 to 2011.
  • Robert Ringer[21] (1938– ), an American author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker.
  • Gene Roddenberry[66] (1921–1991), a screenwriter and producer who created the Star Trek franchise.
  • T. J. Rodgers (1948– ),[25] the founder and chief executive officer of Cypress Semiconductor.
  • Mary Ruwart[67] (1949– ), a retired biomedical researcher and libertarian author and activist.
  • Paul Ryan[68] (1970– ), a Republican member of Congress from Wisconsin. He was the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election. In 2015 he became the 62nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.


Ayelet Shaked, Israel's former Minister of Justice, says she is influenced by The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
  • Joseph T. Salerno[69] (1950– ), an American economist of the Austrian School, who is a professor and chair of the economics graduate program at Pace University.
  • J. Neil Schulman[21] (1953–2019), an American writer and filmmaker whose novels include Alongside Night (1979) and The Rainbow Cadenza (1983).
  • Peter Schwartz,[13] an American writer who edited two collections of Rand's essays: The Ayn Rand Column (1991) and Return of the Primitive (1999). He was the founding editor and publisher of The Intellectual Activist.
  • Chris Matthew Sciabarra[70] (1960– ), an American political theorist whose works include Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. He is the co-founder of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
  • Larry J. Sechrest[71] (1946–2008), an American economist of the Austrian School, who advocated free banking and anarcho-capitalism.
  • Ayelet Shaked[72] (1976– ), an Israeli politician. She is a member of the Knesset, and from 2015 to 2019 she was Minister of Justice.
  • George H. Smith[21] (1949– ), an American author. His works include Atheism: The Case Against God (1974) and Atheism, Ayn Rand and Other Heresies (1991).
  • Kay Nolte Smith[5] (1932–1993), an American novelist whose works include The Watcher and Elegy for a Soprano. She was a member of Rand's circle for over a decade, but Rand broke with her in 1973 following a disagreement about Smith's handling of a production of Rand's play Night of January 16th.
  • Tara Smith[73] (1961– ), a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her works include Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, and she is on the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute.
  • Ed Snider[21] (1933–2016), an American businessman who served as chairman of Comcast Spectacor. He was one of the founding contributors of the Ayn Rand Institute, then later funded the rival Institute for Objectivist Studies.
  • Joseph Sobran[74] (1946–2010), an American journalist.
  • Tom Stevens,[75] an American politician and blogger, who founded the Objectivist Party.
  • Gennady Stolyarov II,[76] an American writer.
  • John Stossel[77] (1947– ), an American author and television journalist. He hosts the show Stossel on the Fox Business Channel.


  • Alex Tabarrok[78] (1966– ), an American economist and writer. He is a professor at George Mason University and is co-author of the economics blog Marginal Revolution.
  • Chris Tame[79] (1949–2006), a British libertarian political activist who founded the Libertarian Alliance.
  • Peter Thiel[80] (1967– ), an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies.
  • Clarence Thomas[81] (1948– ), an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He previously served as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Hunter S. Thompson[82] (1937–2005), an American author and founder of the gonzo journalism movement. His works include Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary.
  • Monroe Trout[83] (1962– ), a retired financial speculator and hedge fund manager.


  • Vince Vaughn[84] (1970– ), an American actor, screenwriter, and producer.


Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales ran an email list for discussion of Rand's philosophy.[85]
  • Jimmy Wales[86] (1966– ), an American Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Wikipedia.[87]
  • Don Watkins,[88] an American author, columnist, and professional speaker. In 2006 he was appointed a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.


  • Kyrel Zantonavitch, writer.

See also[edit]

  • Objectivist movement


  1. Gladstein 2009, pp. 111–26; Merrill 2013, pp. 3–6, 8–13; Branden 1986, pp. 411–22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Merrill 2013, p. 3
  3. Stossel, John (January 12, 2012). "Where are the champions of freedom?". Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  4. Smith, Aaron (December 11, 2019). "New Interview Series: Gloria Álvarez Explores Objectivism". Retrieved March 10, 2020.
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  6. Henneberger, Melinda (May 9, 1998). "The Georgia Republican Who Uses the I-Word". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
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  8. "Libertarian Party selects Bob Barr as 2008 presidential nominee" (Press release). Libertarian National Committee. May 25, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
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  10. Block 2010, p. 45
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  15. Block 2010, p. 52
  16. Block 2010, p. 61
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  20. Block 2010, p. 73
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 21.12 21.13 21.14 21.15 21.16 21.17 21.18 21.19 Branden 1986, pp. 416–20
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  34. Keck, William (May 30, 2007). "Amber Heard Will be Heard". USA Today. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
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  38. Block 2010, p. 161
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  43. Block 2010, p. 177
  44. Ellis, Bill (2000). Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky. pp. 172, 180. ISBN 0-8131-2170-1. As for his 'religion,' he called it 'just Ayn Rand's philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added'... Search this book on Logo.png
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  49. Branden 1986, p. 415
  50. Block 2010, p. 216
  51. Block 2010, p. 217
  52. McKeever, Paul. "About". Paul McKeever blog. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010.
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  54. Weiss 2012, p. 99
  55. Block 2010, p. 238
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  58. Walker 1999, p. 193
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  66. Merrill 2013, p. 9
  67. Block 2010, p. 305
  68. Merrill 2013, p. 5
  69. Block 2010, pp. 307, 309
  70. Block 2010, p. 327
  71. Block 2010, p. 331
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  74. Block 2010, p. 341
  75. Everson, Drew (February 11, 2009). "Lack Of Information About Third Party Candidates Probably To Their Benefit". CBS News. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  76. Stolyarov II, Gennady (June 2012). "Objectivist Statement of Resolves". The Liberal Institute. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  77. Gladstein 2009, p. 112
  78. Block 2010, p. 349
  79. Glendening, Marc (April 5, 2006). "Obituary: Chris Tame". The Guardian. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  81. Thomas, Clarence (2007). My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. New York: Harper Perennial. pp. 62, 187. ISBN 978-0-06-056556-5. OCLC 191930033. Search this book on Logo.png
  82. Thompson, Hunter S. (April 7, 1998). The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955–1967 (The Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 1). Ballantine Books. pp. 69–70. ISBN 0345377966. Search this book on Logo.png
  83. Walker 1999, p. 333
  84. "An Interview with Vince Vaughn". Judd Handler. 1999. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. The last book I read was the book I’ve been rereading most of my life, The Fountainhead. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  85. Runciman, David (May 28, 2009). "Like Boiling a Frog". London Review of Books. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  86. Deutschman, Alan (April 1, 2007). "Why Is This Man Smiling?". Fast Company. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  87. "Brain Scan: The Free-knowledge Fundamentalist". The Economist. June 5, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  88. "Don Watkins". Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved December 22, 2015.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]

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