Ayn Rand sparked a new ethical philosophy called Objectivism with the principles laid out in her novels including the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand came of age as a university student in the middle of the Russian Revolution before immigrating to America at age twenty-one. She attempted to become a Hollywood actress and screenwriter before the success of her Broadway play Night of January 16th enabled her to focus on writing. Her first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936, followed by the futuristic Anthem. In 1943, the Fountainhead was panned by critics but became a bestseller, and Rand wrote the screenplay for the 1949 movie adaptation. Rand published Atlas Shrugged, her final novel, in 1957 and her long-time partner Nathaniel Branden began offering lectures at his institute on the Objectivism discussed in her books. Rand and Branden began publishing the Objectivist newsletter together, but after the pair split in 1968, Rand forced Branden out of the movement he had helped build. Rand continued to lecture and write on Objectivism until her death, and her books still sell a quarter of a million copies per year.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Ayn Rand." (Viewed on July 21, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/rand-ayn>.