Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Death: 6th March 1982
Location: Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, USA
Cause of Death: Heart Attack / Failure
Photo taken by: Mark Paulin
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Russian-born American philosopher and novelist. She studied philosophy and history at the University of Petrograd and graduated in 1924. In 1925 she was given a visa to go to America to visit relatives. She arrived in New York in February 1926 and after staying briefly with her relatives she decided that she would never return to the Soviet Union and instead went to Hollywood with the intention of writing screenplays.
Whilst she was working as an extra she met Frank O’Connor and they married in 1929, remaining married for fifty years. In 1931 Rand became an American citizen. She regarded herself first as a novelist and then a philosopher. Her success came with the novel The Fountainhead, which she wrote over seven years. It was considered too intellectual by many publishers, and was finally accepted after being rejected twelve times. It became a world wide success and continues to sell 100,000 copies each year. This was followed up by Atlas Shrugged in 1957 which became an international best seller.