Ayn Rand was a pro-capitalist philosopher and novelist who authored the novels, The Fountainhead and "Atlas Shrugged." Her particular philosophy which she developed and advocated was called "objectivism." She was an avid proponent of Laissez-faire economics. Additionally, as an atheist brought up in Russia, she advocated the separation of the economy and the state (similarly to the separation of church and state) and that selfishly pursuing one's own personal interest regardless of anyone else was the highest moral purpose. As she described it herself, "Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life."
The Ayn Rand Institute was named after her.
- Gary Weiss, Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul (St. Martin’s Press, 2012). Review
-  An article excerpt authored by Ayn Rand and owned by Times-Mirror Co.