Leonard E. Read (1898 - 1983)
Founder and First President (1948 - 1983)

Although American military defeated the totalitarian states of Germany, Italy, and Japan in World War II, the statist ideas that governed these (and other) countries did not die off.

In fact, as a result of New Deal programs and war-time collectivism, socialist ideas were taking root in the United States. It was Leonard Read's mission to confront this ideological invasion. Together with a few friends and kindred souls he launched the Foundation for Economic Education, on March 7, 1946, just a few months after the Japanese surrender.

As the Manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce -- the largest in the U.S.-- Read had struggled against the prevailing Marxist and Keynesian economic policies. In numerous Chamber publications he had refuted the Marxian charges of the exploitation, abuse, and immiseration of workers by "the bourgeoisie." He rejected the Keynesian arguements that capitalism is unstable and brings about mass unemployment. As the head of the new foundation -- whose sole purpose was information and education -- Read marshaled new forces to lead a battle against these pernicious ideas.

For 37 years Leonard Read labored to promote freedom, individual liberty and responsibility, the rule of law, and self-improvement. He was a natural leader who, at a crucial moment in American history, roused the tired forces defending individual freedom and private property. He created a think-tank which was to become the model for several other foundations in the United States and abroad.

Accompanied by members of his senior staff, Leonard Read used to travel millions of miles, giving speeches and lectures to eager audiences. He is the author of 27 books, 18 of which are still in print and are sold by FEE.

To read more about this true American hero, click here to read articles by Ebmund Opitz and Bettina Bien Greaves.
L.E.R. books in print:

Accent on the Right
Anything That's Peaceful
Castles in the Air
Deeper Than You Think
To Free or Freeze
The Freedom Freeway
Government: An Ideal Concept
Having My Way
How Do We Know?
Let Freedom Reign
The Love of Liberty
Pattern for Revolt
Seeds of Progress
Talking to Myself
Then Truth Will Out
Vision
Who's Listening?

Read Leonard E. Read's famous article, "I, Pencil"