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(1905 - 1982)
The daughter of a chemist, Ayn Rand immigrated to the United States in 1926 with the thought of becoming a screenwriter. Cecil B. DeMille made her an extra in The King of Kings, and she emerged from the crowd scenes to become a fervent advocate of laissez-faire capitalism. The ideological message embedded in her best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged endeared her to admirers as diverse as Alan Greenspan, Hugh Hefner, and Clarence Thomas.