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. It was the first pro-freedom think tank in the United States. FEE immediately served as a sanctuary for dissident intellectuals such as Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman. It came to serve as an important intellectual infrastructure for the promotion of 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

Vision

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 by LEONARD E. READ

Archive

Endowed by Their Creator

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 by LEONARD E. READ

Archive

Outlook for Freedom

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 by LEONARD E. READ

Archive

Instead of Violence

The Case For the Non-Coercive Society

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 by LEONARD E. READ

Archive

Where Lies This Fault?

A speculation on the recovery of freedom

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 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

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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