Republican Liberty Caucus Advisory Board member Dr. John Hospers died at the age of 93 yesterday, June 12, 2011.
Dr. Hospers was the Libertarian Party’s first presidential candidate, running in 1972. He appeared on the ballot in just two states, but made history by receiving the electoral vote of one of the RLC’s distinguished founders, Mr. Roger MacBride of Virginia.
A professor of philosophy at California State University-Los Angeles, Dr. Hospers had a sharp mind until his resting days. Last year he had this to say about the Republican Liberty Caucus: “I’m honored to be on the RLC’s current Board of Advisors, along with many associates, colleagues and other esteemed defenders of liberty. I support the RLC’s 2010 endorsed candidates, and am encouraged with the prospects of returning power to the people.”
According to Ayn Rand’s biographer Barbara Branden, Hospers met Rand when she addressed the student body at Brooklyn College. They became friends and had lengthy philosophical conversations. Rand’s discussions with Hospers contributed to her decision to write nonfiction. Hospers became convinced of the validity of Rand’s moral and political views but disagreed with her about issues of epistemology, the subject of their extensive correspondence. Rand broke with Hospers after he criticized her Harvard talk on “Art as Sense of Life” before the American Society of Aesthetics.
In 2002, an hour-long video about Hospers’ life, work, and philosophy was released by the Liberty Fund of Indianapolis as part of its Classics of Liberty series. His passing was three days after his 93rd birthday.
Professor John Hospers will be remembered for his many philosophical and political contributions to the libertarian movement.