Jeanne Cornuelle and her family were friends of Ayn Rand and Frank O’Connor. Rand’s correspondence, primarily with Jeanne’s husband, Herb, began in 1950. Herb, whose business career included presidencies of Dole Pineapple and United Fruit Company, was one of the founders of the Foundation for Economic Education.
This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
120 East 34th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
April 19, 1980
I was delighted to hear from you—but the reason that I did not answer you sooner is the improper request that your friend, Mr. Danks, has imposed on you.[*]
Mr. Danks has committed an illegal action in trying to adapt my book, Anthem. It is legally forbidden to adapt an author’s work without his/her prior permission. I categorically refuse to give such permission to Mr. Danks. I have not read his script, and I am returning it to you under separate cover.
The reason for my disapproval of Mr. Danks is that I cannot stand the thought of someone monkeying around with my material. My work means too much to me. If you remember the climax of The Fountainhead, I am sure you will understand this.
I am sorry that he has attempted to use you in such a manner—and I certainly do not hold it against you, only against Mr. Danks.
I was glad to hear about your family, although I cannot imagine you as a grandmother. I will always think of you as Dagny Taggart.
I am sorry to have to tell you that Frank died last November after a long illness.
I was glad to hear that there are “young Randians” in Hawaii. But you m make a mistake in associating the Libertarians with me. They are my enemies and have nothing to do with my philosophy, except for occasional attempts to plagiarize it.
If you ever come to New York, please let me know. I would love to see you again.
With love to you and Herb—
and do svidanie,[**]
*Likely William Danks, a libertarian writer.
**In Russian, “do svidanie” means “farewell,” or “goodbye until we meet again.”