Ayn Rand, American writer and philosopher, well known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for her philosophical system "Objectivism", was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but she lived in United States since 1926. Her real name is Alissa Rossenbaum.
She attended Petrograd State University, then she entered the State Techicum of Screen Arts, where she studied screenwriting.
She showed an interest in literature and film from an early age.
She was a twelve at the time of the Russian revolution of 1917, and when Bolshevik party was rising which made her a staunchly critical of them.
She left Russia in 1926, because her philosophy did not fit with the Communist agenda. When she arrived in the United States, first she stayed with her relatives in Chicago and then she left for Hollywood to become a screenwriter.
She started her career as a writer in 1932, when she sold her screenplay Red Pawn to Universal Studios. Next came The night of January 16th in 1934, and her most autobiographical novel We the Living in 1936 that depicts communist rule in Russia.
This is followed by Anthem (1938) a science-fiction novel and The Fountainhead
which brought her first fame. But, her worldwide success was brought by her masterpiece Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, which include elements of mystery and science fiction .This novel contains statement of Objectivism about which she said: "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
Rand was influenced by Aristotle, especially his "Organon", by Friedrich Neitzche (but only in her early life), by John Locke and was opponent to philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
In order to promote her philosophy, she founded the objectivist movement, the group that promoted Rand's philosophy.
She lectured at several universities, including: Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Harvard University, among others.
She had both admirers and detractors, because of her controversial idea. During her life, the academic philosophers have mostly ignored her work, but since her death, they have increased studying of Ayn Rand's work. In 1985 "The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism" was established by Leonard Peikoff.
She died in 1982.