Harry Browne, R.I.P.

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Harry Browne (1933- 2006), twice presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, died on March 1 at his home in Franklin, Tenn. He had fought Lou Gehrig’s disease for many months.

Harry was an investment adviser who became a bestselling author with his book, “How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation” (1970), the first of a series of how- you-can-profit volumes. Through those books, his writings and speeches on public policy, and his work of 1973, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World,” he spread libertarian ideas to a wide popular audience.

As a leader of the Libertarian Part)’, Harry was a vigorous exponent of a professionalized campaign-style, emphasizing the respectability and rationality of libertarian public-policy proposals. Although his electoral performance was disappointing – 485,000 votes in 1996, 384,000 in 2000 – he was an articulate and persuasive spokesman for the party. He looked like a president, or like a president ought to look.

It is no secret that during the latter part of his political career Harry and Liberty magazine were often at odds over his management of Libertarian Party affairs. The history of these disagreements is written at large in the 1999-2004 issues of Liberty. But there was never any question that Harry was a talented and intelligent leader, determined to defend and extend individual freedom.

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