To George Boardman [Letter 475]

Item Reference Code: 038_04B_013_001

Date(s) of creation

May 19, 1961


George Boardman


George Boardman was a fan and a columnist for the American Statesman.

c/o Random House
457 Madison Ave.
New York City

May 19, 1961

Dear Dr. Boardman:

This is in reply to your letter of April 15, 1961.

I appreciate your interest in my philosophy. But I object most emphatically to your use of the name “John Galt” or of a title such as “J. Galt Associates” or of any names, characters or events from my novel ATLAS SHRUGGED.

The abstract, philosophical ideas expressed in a novel may be used by all those who agree with them. The specific, literary, fiction elements of my novel are my personal, private property and are not to be used by anyone but me.

If you associate yourselves publicly with the characters of my novel, it means and implies that you act as my philosophical representatives. It is an intellectual blank check which I never have or will grant to anyone.

You state: “If you feel that such an action might imply a sanction which would be incompatible to you, we will drop the idea without further discussion.” Any use of my fiction characters does imply a sanction which is most incompatible to me. I appreciate your statement and I shall take you at your word: I shall expect to receive from you the assurance that you have discontinued the use of the title “J. Galt Associates” and any other attempt, direct or indirect, to use the characters or any fiction elements of my novel.[*]



Ayn Rand



*Boardman had written that J. Galt Associates was “NOT a formally organized” firm but merely the name for him and his friends who are “dedicated to the premise that we will never again earn an income which can be taxed for the support of our avowed enemies.” The Ayn Rand Archives contains no response from Boardman.