Memorial Tributes

The Ayn Rand Institute takes this opportunity to publicly recognize a select few individuals who have exemplified a lifelong commitment to Objectivism and demonstrated outstanding support for the Institute’s mission of advancing Rand’s philosophy.

We pay tribute to and express our deep gratitude for the achievements of these ambitious advocates of Objectivism.

“Ambition means the systematic pursuit of achievement and of constant improvement in respect to one’s goal.” –Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Letter 

John B. Ridpath, 1936–2021

An award-winning professor at York University and long-time ARI board member, Dr. John Ridpath enlightened students for decades  in his classrooms and at events. His passionate interests included economics and the history of ideas with an emphasis on the founding of the United States. He was a friend and admirer of Ayn Rand during her lifetime and provided guidance to the Institute during his tenure on the original board of advisors and then for the following decades on the board of directors.

Mary Ann Sures, 1928–2020

Mary Ann Sures created a life dedicated to the interpretation, appreciation, and teaching of the visual arts. Her passion led her to write articles, give courses, and volunteer as a docent for over 25 years. She had a long-time close, personal friendship with Ayn Rand and Frank O’Connor. Mrs. Sures was employed by Ayn Rand to type much of the manuscript of Atlas Shrugged and later worked directly with Ayn Rand on several articles and talks primarily regarding the visual arts.


Allan Gotthelf, 1942–2013

Dr. Allan Gotthelf’s introduction to Ayn Rand’s ideas occurred in 1961 when he first read Atlas Shrugged. He would later remark on what he learned from this first reading: “Atlas Shrugged said that the mind I valued in myself was not only a private source of pleasure but was also the means to everything I wanted out of life. I felt about the heroes of the novel that this is the way they felt about themselves and the way they lived and loved their lives was the way I wanted to feel about myself and live and love my life. This was the happiness I was looking for.” He spent his academic career promoting these values.

John David Lewis, 1955–2012

Dr. John David Lewis built a successful 25-year career in business and then returned to university to earn his Ph.D. At that point he began a second career in education, becoming the first Objectivist to teach concurrently at two top universities. He was a favorite lecturer and an actively engaged intellectual who was passionate about sharing the ideas of Ayn Rand.