Read, Leonard E. (1898–1983)

Leonard E. Read, an activist, a fundraiser, and an administrator, is best known for originating the oldest existing free-market nonprofit in the world, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). At the time of its founding, FEE was “[t]he only organization that introduces newcomers to the idea of the free market as a moral institution, not just as a means of efficient production.” Read also was known for his writings in moral philosophy and as a gourmet chef and curling enthusiast, all of which he pursued avidly.

Not surprisingly, statists disparaged him. Eleanor Roosevelt even commented that she was “struck” by FEE's insinuation that there was some similarity between the welfare state and communism. But even with those who ordinarily allied with him against the welfare state, ...

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