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

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.

Article

On That Day Began Lies

Personal responsibility never disappears.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 by LEONARD E. READ

It is simply a matter of personal determination and a resolve to act and speak in strict accordance with one's inner, personal dictate of what is right. And for each of us to see to it that no other man or set of men is given permission to represent us otherwise.

Related Publications

Archive

Pattern for Revolt

JULY 03, 2013 by LEONARD E. READ

Multimedia

I, Pencil

JANUARY 28, 2010 by LEONARD READ, 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

September 2014

For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited our social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
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