Ayn Rand's writings, in particular her novels, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, are inspiring, if only to me. They certainly made me achieve, and feel that giving my all is only right. Did I always succeed? No, but reading and re-reading those lengthy tomes certainly gave me plenty to think about, and reasons to be the best I could be. Her writings, both fiction and non-fiction, taught me the philosophy that she espoused (Objectivism); that being an eogist isn't all bad.
For many years, her writings were really all I knew of her, but then I found out more about her that makes me even more inspired, more impressed. Yes, for some, she was (and is) still controversial, but this is about the woman that inspired me.
Born Alice Rosenbaum, Ayn Rand grew up in Russia before the Russian Revolution. She was just completing her university degree when the Bolsheviks took over, and she knew that she would never survive in that system. So she figured out a way to get a visa and leave Russia and come to the United States of America. On the way over, she changed her name to Ayn Rand (Ayn after an author's name she'd heard and liked, and Rand after her typewriter). She lived with some cousins in Chicago briefly before going out to California and writing screen plays in Hollywood. Even as a young girl, she always knew she wanted to be a writer...to write about "her ideal man" but first she had to learn the language, and she honed her writing skills in Hollywood. From there, she went on to write books about her "ideal men"...men like Howard Roark, Hank Rearden, Francisco d'Anconia, and, of course, John Galt. Considering her primary language had to be Russian, the fact that she wrote novels of such complex issues and ideas in English further inspired me.
Even today, her influence still lingers, with me and with others. Every generation seems to find her writings inspirational. Not all agree with her, but her books still sell, and have become classics.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association