Just heard on radio - Ayn Rand would be turning 100 this month. As an author, certainly influenced me moreso than any other.
If you've never read her work or heard of her, Atlas Shrugged was listed as the second most influential book of all time, right after the Bible. (From Anecodtage "Trivia: In 1998, the Modern Library asked readers to cast their votes for the best 20th Century English novels. All four of Rand's works made the top ten: Atlas Shrugged, #1; The Fountainhead, #2; Anthem, #7; and We the Living, #8. (In another Reader's Digest / Library of Congress survey, readers named Atlas Shrugged as the book which, second only to the Bible, had influenced them most.]"
Her advocation of objectivism and true laissez-faire capitalism made her a target for many who described her ideas as impractical yet history is full of those who prove otherwise.
I noticed that Halley was reading the Fountainhead for the first time. While Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are her best known, they are hard reads for those who don't get into it - I always recommend Anthem as the best way of discovering if you "get" it or not.
Also of interest - Alan Greenspan of the Fed was one of her early pupils. Larry Ellison and many others also claim to be followers although some of their business practices are completely anti-randian.
The leaders of today would do very well to re-read Rand and think about the world they really want to live in.
The Ayn Rand Institute: