Ayn Rand

Jordan Escobar

A LIFE AND TIMES OF A WRITER: INTRO

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2nd, 1905, Ayn Rand had decided early on at the age of 9 that she would be a fiction writer. Self-taught in reading and writing, Ayn quickly fell in love with writing. Born to father Zinovy Zacharovich Rosenbaum and mother Anna Borisovna Kaplan. She grew up to be an interesting example of a writer of Russian literature.

Early Years

Ayn was opposed to Russian mysticism and culture, and never identified with her Russian heritage. She always considered herself a European writer. Throughout her high school years, she would bear witness to two revolutions. One of which resulted in a communist victory, leading to the confiscation of his father's pharmacy. In this bleak reality, she was introduced to American history in her last year of high school, and saw America as what a free nation could be. After high school she pursued higher education, attending the University of Petrograd, studying philosophy and history. Graduating in 1924, she witnessed the restriction of free inquiry, and the takeover of the college by communist thugs.

To The US

In 1925, she received permission to "visit" relatives in America, where instead of staying for a short time like promised, she stayed with those relatives for six more months before extending her visa and going to Hollywood to pursue a career in screenwriting.

Ayn's Career Begins

On her second day in Hollywood, she was noticed by Cecil B. DeMille, who noticed her standing around the gate of his studio. He offered her a job as an extra in his movie, and soon a job as a script reader. Next week, she met the actor Frank O'Connor, whom she married in 1929. They were married until Frank's death 50 years later.

Several years later, Ayn sold her first screenplay, "Red Pawn", to Universal Pictures in 1932. Her play, Night of January 16th, was produced on Broadway 3 years later. Her first novel, We the Living, was completed in 1934, a year prior, but was rejected several times before finally being published by the Macmillan company.

Her next book, The Fountainhead, was her first bestseller hit, after being rejected 12 times by publishers. The book gained steam by sheer word-of-mouth, and she was praised for her individualism.

The Last Act

In 1951, Ayn moved back to New York City, and devoted herself to writing her screenplay for Atlas Shrugged. Published in 1957, backed by her novel successes, it was her greatest achievement. After that, Ayn wrote books on her objective philosophy, before dying on March 6th, 1982, in her New York apartment. Her vision of philosophy and individualism has changed the lives of thousands, enforcing the idea of thinking outside of the box, and for that she is remembered.
Ayn Rand First Interview 1959 (Full)