“The name I have chosen for my philosophy is Objectivism.”

At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did as follows:

Metaphysics: Objective Reality
Epistemology: Reason
Ethics: Self-interest
Politics: Capitalism

If you want this translated into simple language, it would read: 1. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.” 2. “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.” 3. “Man is an end in himself.” 4. “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Ayn Rand was born

February 2, 1905

Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум) was born on February 2nd, 1905 in Saint Petersburg during Tsarist Russia. It was during her young age that she witnessed enraged and starving peasants becoming the fuel of the upcoming revolution in Russia. Her father owned a pharmacy shop and her mother was a homemaker and socialite.

The Russian Revolution

March 8, 1917

The period of a constitutional monarchy, announced by Tsar Nicholas in order to give more fields to farmers and peasants and greater control of their yields, had its quick rise and fall. By 1917, such a system had been removed by the socialist and later on communist regime.

Alisa Rosenbaum embarked alone on her journey to America

February 10, 1926

By the time communism started to reach a turning point in Russia, Alisa received a letter from her relatives in Chicago to visit them and leave Russia. During autumn of 1925, Alisa got her passport and approval to travel to America for a period of 6 months. On February 10, 1926 she boarded the ship De Grasse in Paris and arrived in New York.

She started to work as an extra at Cecile DeMille Studio

September 10, 1926

She started working as a movie extra. As she had a dream of becoming a writer one day, now determined to become a movie script writer, she moved to Los Angeles and looked for a job in Hollywood. Through her Chicago relatives, she got their contact in the movie industry to write a letter of introduction for someone in the publicity department of Cecil B.

She met her husband Frank O’Connor

November 20, 1926

One morning, on her way to work, Rand fell in love with an actor named Frank O’Connor. He had a smaller role in the same movie that she was working on. She later found out from his brothers that he told them that he met an interesting Russian girl. However, his days on the set were limited and she could not find him anywhere afterwards.

They got married

April 10, 1929

After a while, she met Frank once again, this time at a library, in the summer of 1927 and they fell in love. They got married on April 15, 1929 and they were married for more than 50 years, until Frank’s passing.

She wrote “The Fountainhead”

May 15, 1943

Rand finished “The Fountainhead“ on December 31st 1942, and it was published in May 1943. From conception to publication, it had taken Rand about nine years. By 1948, it sold about 400,000 copies. Then came the New American Library paperback edition, and “The Fountainhead“  went on to sell over 6 million copies.

Ayn Rand wrote the novel – “Atlas Shrugged”

October 13, 1957

Rand worked on her next book, “Atlas Shrugged“, which she wrote for 14 years. Frank urged her to use one of the chapter headings as the book title, and so the title became “Atlas Shrugged“. The book was published on October 10, 1957. Today, more than 30 million copies of her novels were sold worldwide.

Ayn Rand passed away

March 6, 1982

Rand’s heart began to give out in December 1981. She hung on for three more months, asking her closest associate Leonard Peikoff to finish several projects. She died in her Manhattan apartment on March 6, 1982. She was buried next to Frank O’Connor in Valhalla, New York. She was 77.

The United States Postal Service issued an Ayn Rand stamp

April 8, 1999

The United States Postal Service honored Ayn Rand on a 33¢ stamp issued April 22, 1999 (Scott 3308), the 16th stamp in the Literary Art series. Rand said about the relaxing aspect of stamp collecting: “I spend an hour with my stamp albums and it makes me able to resume writing for the rest of the evening. A stamp album is a miraculous brain-restorer.”

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