Leonard E. Read

lread@fee.org

Leonard E. Read (1898-1983) was the founder of FEE, and the author of 29 works, including the classic parable “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Born in Michigan, his early life was marked by hard work and diligent study. After serving in the armed forces during World War I, he began a wholesale grocery business, and later became manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. As the New Deal began, Read became a vocal critic of policies limiting freedom and expanding government. This drive prompted him to found FEE in 1946, promoting the freedom philosophy through lectures, seminars, books, and The Freeman magazine.

Related Freeman Articles

Vintage

Economics for Boys and Girls

Methods for getting young people on the track of sound thinking

OCTOBER 24, 2014 by LEONARD E. READ

Leonard Read's essay on "economic instruction for the youngsters" first appeared in "Notes from FEE," September 1965.

Clichés of Progressivism

#25 – “If Government Doesn’t Relieve Distress, Who Will?”

OCTOBER 03, 2014 by LEONARD E. READ

Without government assistance, a massive amount of private, voluntary aid has poured forth from American citizens since the first settlement here.

Clichés of Progressivism

#12 – “I Prefer Security to Freedom”

JULY 04, 2014 by LEONARD E. READ

True security is an outgrowth of freedom, not an alternative to it.

Clichés of Progressivism

#7 – The Free Market Ignores the Poor

MAY 30, 2014 by LEONARD E. READ

Through openness, voluntary exchange, and fair play, the poor fare better under a free market system than under a closed socialist system.

Clichés of Progressivism

#4 – The More Complex the Society, the More Government Control We Need

MAY 09, 2014 by LEONARD E. READ

Complexity does not automatically suggest centralization of power.

Related Publications

Archive

Pattern for Revolt

JULY 03, 2013 by LEONARD E. READ

Multimedia

I, Pencil

JANUARY 28, 2010 by LEONARD E. READ

Eloquent. Extraordinary. Timeless. Paradigm-shifting. Classic. Half a century after it first appeared, Leonard Read's 'I, Pencil' still evokes such adjectives of praise. Rightfully so, for this little essay opens eyes and minds among people of all ages. Many first-time readers never see the world quite the same again.

Archive

Vision

AUGUST 03, 2009 by LEONARD E. READ

Archive

Then Truth Will Out

AUGUST 03, 2009 by LEONARD E. READ

Related Podcasts

I, Pencil

AUGUST 21, 2013 by LEONARD E. READ

The audio version of Leonard Read's classic, I, Pencil. (16.50 minutes)

CURRENT ISSUE

November 2014

It's been 40 years since F. A. Hayek received his Nobel Prize. His insights, particularly on the distribution of knowledge and the impossibility of economic planning, remain hugely important today. In this issue, we look back on the influence of his work. Max Borders and Craig Biddle debate whether liberty must be defended from one absolute foundation, further reflections on Scottish secession, and how technology is already changing our world for the better--including how robots, despite the unease they cause, will only accelerate this process.
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