It is with great sadness that the Ayn Rand Institute announces the death on January 3, 2012, of Dr. John David Lewis after an extended battle with cancer.
At the time of his death, Dr. Lewis was visiting associate professor in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at Duke University, a position funded by the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship and by the BB&T Charitable Foundation. He was also adjunct associate professor of business at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a 25-year career in business, he changed direction and earned his PhD in classics in 2001 at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
Dr. Lewis drew personal inspiration from Ayn Rand’s philosophy—and his work and life reflected his beliefs. He had a unique talent for conveying his knowledge and views, whether in delivering a lecture, writing a book, or in discussion with those around him.
The Ayn Rand Institute will hold a memorial gathering during Objectivist Summer Conference 2012 on Monday, July 2, at 8 PM. The location is the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego, California. The event will be free of charge and open to anyone wishing to attend.
Dr. Lewis’s wife Casey is not planning to attend the ARI event. She has requested that anyone wishing to contact her to please do so via email at JohnDavidLewisMemorial@yahoo.com.
It was Dr. Lewis’s wish that in lieu of customary gestures of
condolence, those wishing to honor his memory should send contributions to the
John David Lewis Memorial Fund at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship and/or the
John David Lewis Memorial Fund at the Ayn Rand Institute.
ARI’s Kathy Cross will assist those who wish to contribute to either of these funds. Please contact her at 732-242-9408 or by
In the passing of Dr. Lewis, the Objectivist movement has lost a true fighter. From all of us fortunate enough to have known him—and John had many personal friends at the Institute—thank you, John, for all your work, for your tireless devotion to the ideas you knew were right, and, most of all, for the inspiring way you lived your life. You are dearly missed.
Dr. Lewis was the special guest speaker at this annual event for participants in the Atlantis Legacy, ARI’s planned giving program. Typically, the recorded content of Atlantis Legacy events is available only to Atlantis Legacy donors. We are making an exception in Dr. Lewis’s case.
In the 56-minute audio recording below, following brief introductory remarks by Yaron Brook and Kathy Cross, Dr. Lewis speaks and answers questions about his work, his career, and the importance of “building a legacy of the mind.”