Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known as the creator of the philosophical school of thought known as Objectivism, and for advocating individualism over collectivism. Her best known novels are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Rand was supporter of laissez-faire capitalism, and she advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge. She condemned the initiation of force, and she opposed statism and anarchism.
Rand was born in St. Petersburg to a Russian Jewish family. A gifted student, she began writing screenplays at the age of ten. She counted among her childhood friends the younger sister of the writer Vladimir Nabokov. Rand was among the first class of women allowed to enroll at Petrograd State University after the Russian Revolution. She graduated in 1924, and emigrated to the United States in early 1926.
Rand was married to the actor Frank O’Connor from 1929 until his death in 1979. The couple had no children.