Ayn Rand Net Worth At Death – How Did She Get Rich?

Ayn Rand Net Worth At Death

Ayn Rand had an estimated net worth of $1 million at death. Author Ayn Rand wrote the best-selling books ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ and promoted the philosophy of Objectivism. The majority of her income comes from her career as a writer.

Ayn Rand immigrated to the United States in 1926 and attempted to make a name for herself in Hollywood. We the Living (1936), her first novel, championed her rejection of collectivist values in favor of individual self-interest, a belief that became more explicit in her subsequent novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1945). (1957). Following the latter’s enormous success, Rand promoted her Objectivist philosophy through courses, lectures, and literature.

To calculate the net worth of Ayn Rand, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Ayn Rand
Net Worth: $1 million
Source of Wealth: Writer

Early Years

Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum was born on February 2, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was the oldest daughter of Jewish parents (and later an avowed atheist), and she spent her early years in comfort thanks to her father’s success as a pharmacist, proving to be a brilliant student.

Her father’s shop was suddenly seized by Bolshevik soldiers in 1917, forcing the family to return to poverty in the Crimea. The situation had a profound impact on Alissa, who developed strong feelings about government meddling in people’s lives. She returned to her hometown to study at the University of Petrograd, graduating in 1924, and then enrolling at the State Institute of Cinema Arts to study screenwriting.

Alissa was granted a visa to visit relatives in Chicago and left for the United States in early 1926, never to return. She adopted her soon-to-be-famous pen name and moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter after a few months in Chicago.

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Early Writing Career

Rand became an extra on the set of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 film The King of Kings after a chance meeting with the film’s director, Cecil B. DeMille. They married in 1929, and she became a citizen of the United States in 1931.

Rand found work as a clerk at RKO Pictures, eventually rising to the position of head of the wardrobe department, and continued to hone her craft as a writer. Universal Studios bought her screenplay Red Pawn, a Soviet romantic thriller, in 1932. She soon finished a courtroom drama called Penthouse Legend, in which audience members served as jurors. Rand and her husband relocated to New York City in late 1934 for the production, which was renamed Night of January 16th.

Rand also finished her first novel, We the Living, around this time. We the Living, which was published in 1936 after several rejections, championed the moral authority of the individual through its heroine’s battles with a Soviet totalitarian state. Rand followed with the novella Anthem (1938), about a future collectivist dystopia in which the word “I” has been banned.

‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Rand began researching a new novel in 1937 while working for New York architect Ely Jacques Kahn. The Fountainhead was the result of years of writing and rejections. The book’s hero, architect Howard Roark, defies conventions, even blowing up one of his own creations, underscoring Rand’s individualistic underpinnings. While not an immediate success, The Fountainhead eventually achieved strong sales and became a feature film at the end of the decade, starring Gary Cooper as Roark.

With the 1957 publication of Atlas Shrugged, Rand’s ideas became even more explicit. Atlas Shrugged, a massive work of over 1,000 pages, depicts a future in which leading industrialists abandon a collectivist society that exploits their talents, culminating in a notoriously long speech by protagonist John Galt. The novel received some negative feedback, but it quickly became a best-seller.

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Objectivism and Later Years

Rand met a college student named Nathan Blumenthal, who changed his name to Nathaniel Branden and became the author’s designated heir, around 1950. Braden and his wife, Barbara, formed a group that met at Rand’s apartment for intellectual discussions. The Collective, or the Class of ’43, was the name given to the group, which included future Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (the publication year of The Fountainhead).

Rand quickly honed her philosophy of “Objectivism”: a belief in a concrete reality from which individuals can discern existing truths, and the ultimate moral value of self-interest pursuit. The creation of this system effectively ended her career as a novelist: the Nathaniel Branden Institute was founded in 1958 to spread her message through lectures, courses, and literature, and The Objectivist Newsletter was launched in 1962 by the author and her top disciple. During this time, her books, such as For the New Intellectual (1961) and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966), were mostly collections of previously published essays and other works.

Following her public split from Braden, the author published The Romantic Manifesto (1969), a collection of essays on the cultural significance of art, and renamed her newsletter The Ayn Rand Letter. She continued to travel to give lectures despite being slowed by a lung cancer operation. In 1979, she published Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, a collection of articles that included an essay by her protégé Leonard Peikoff.

Death and Legacy

Rand died of heart failure at her home in New York City on March 6, 1982, while working on a television adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.

Despite criticism for her perceived literary flaws and philosophical arguments, Rand unmistakably left her imprint on the Western culture she embraced. Peikoff established the Ayn Rand Institute in 1985 to carry on Rand’s teachings. The following year, Braden’s ex-wife, Barbara, published The Passion of Ayn Rand, a tell-all memoir that was later adapted into a film starring Helen Mirren.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, interest in Rand’s works resurfaced, with leading political supporters like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz proclaiming their admiration for the author. The Ayn Rand Institute announced in 2010 that over 500,000 copies of Atlas Shrugged had been sold in the previous year.

The Fountainhead was reintroduced to the American public in 2017 by Tony-winning director Ivo van Hove in a production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Van Hove’s version, which originated at Toneelgroep Amsterdam in the Netherlands, featured his performers speaking in Dutch while their words were projected onto an English screen.

Further Reading

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