Ayn Rand (IPA: /ˈaɪn ˈrænd/, February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand emigrated to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway in 1935-1936. She first achieved fame with The Fountainhead (1943), and her best-known work – the philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged – was published in 1957.
Rand's political views, reflected in both her fiction and her theoretical work, emphasize individualism, laissez-faire capitalism, and the constitutional protection of the right to life, liberty, and property. She was a fierce opponent of all forms of collectivism and statism, including fascism, communism, and the welfare state. She was also an atheist, and promoted ethical egoism ("rational self-interest") as energetically as she condemned altruism ("moral cannibalism").