10000 Tampa Avenue
October 29, 1944
Howard A. Legge, MM 3/c
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Dear Mr. Legge:
Yes, of course, I believe THE FOUNTAINHEAD. You really shouldn’t ask me such a question. Ask yourself whether THE FOUNTAINHEAD could have been written by anyone who didn’t believe it.
Yes, I do make claim to an original idea. The idea of individualism is not new, but nobody has ever given the proper definition of the ethics of individualism. Where—in the whole history of moral philosophy—have you read the specific thesis of Roark’s speech.
This is not by way of bragging, but just for the record. Since you understood and appreciated the code of THE FOUNTAINHEAD, I felt I wanted you to know that I am its originator. Thank you for saying that it is “the finest code of ethics the world has ever known.”
And thank you for writing to me. Good luck to you and all my best wishes.
I believe you thought I am a man. I happen to be a woman. But it’s quite all right, you may still write to me as “Dear Ayn”.