Ayn Rand’s Biographical Timeline

1869 Father, Zinovy Zakarovich Rosenbaum, born in Breslitovsk, Russia (November 18)
1880 Mother, Anna Borisovna Kaplan, born in St. Petersburg (October 15)
Young Ayn Rand with her father Young Ayn Rand
1904 Parents married (May 3)
1905 Born in St. Petersburg (February 2; or, January 20 on the Julian calendar)
Ayn Rand and her sisters Ayn Rand in the 1910s
1911 Teaches self to read
1912 Family moves to an apartment on Nevsky Prospekt at Znamenskaya Square
1913 Attends first motion picture exhibition in St. Petersburg
1914 Reads first romantic fiction, The Mysterious Valley; decides to become a writer
1917 Witnesses first shots of February revolution
1918 Discovers writings of Victor Hugo
To escape civil war, family moves to Ukraine (fall) and then Yevpatoria, Crimea (spring)
Frank O'Connor Russian Writings on Hollywood
1920 Discovers Aristotle’s works in high school
1921 Graduates from Yevpatoria High School #4 (June 30)
Family returns to Petrograd
Enrolls in Petrograd State University (circa August 24)
Discovers the works of Nietzsche (1921–22)
1924 Discovers Viennese operettas
Graduates from Leningrad State University (October 13)
Enrolls in State Technicum for Screen Arts (October 15)
1925 “Pola Negri” pamphlet published in Moscow and Leningrad
Receives permission to leave USSR (October 29)
1926 “Hollywood: American Movie City” pamphlet published in Moscow and Leningrad
Departs Leningrad (January 17)
Sails from Le Havre, France, for America on the De Grasse
(February 10)
Arrives in Manhattan (February 19)
Resides in Chicago with relatives (February–August)
Arrives in Hollywood (September 3)
Hired as movie extra by Cecil B. DeMille (September)
Meets Frank O’Connor on set of The King of Kings (September)
1927 Hired by DeMille as junior screen writer (circa June 11)
1929 Marries Frank O’Connor (April 15)
Hired by RKO wardrobe department
Ayn Rand in the 1930s Three Plays cover The Early Ayn Rand cover
1931 Becomes U.S. citizen (March 13)
1932 Sells “Red Pawn” to Universal Pictures (September 2)
1934 Makes first entry in philosophic journal (April 9)
Writes Ideal
First play, Woman on Trial, opens in Hollywood (October 2)
Moves to New York City (November)
1935 Night of January 16th (formerly, Woman on Trial) opens on Broadway (September 16)
Makes first notes for The Fountainhead (December 4)
1936 We the Living published (April 18)
1938 Anthem published in England (circa May 7)
1939 Receives last communication from parents in USSR (circa January)
Ayn Rand, Talbot photograph The Fountainhead cover
1940 Works for the Wendell Willkie presidential campaign
The Unconquered (We the Living adaptation) opens on Broadway (February 13)
1942 Delivers The Fountainhead manuscript to Bobbs-Merrill (December 31)
1943 The Fountainhead published (May 8)
Begins writing “The Moral Basis of Individualism” (August 18)
Moves to California to write The Fountainhead screenplay (November 25)
1944 Moves into Von Sternberg house designed by Richard Neutra (July)
Writes screenplay for Love Letters (September)
1945 Makes first notes for Atlas Shrugged (January 1)
Guest of Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin East (February 3–4)
The Fountainhead reaches #6 on New York Times best-seller list (August 26)
First installment of “illustrated” Fountainhead begins in Hearst newspapers nationwide (December 24)
1946 First U.S. edition of Anthem published (circa July)
1949 The Fountainhead film opens (June 23)
Ayn Rand in her library Atlas Shrugged cover Art of Fiction cover
1951 Moves back to New York City (October 23)
1955 Finishes writing “Galt’s Speech” (October 13)
1957 Finishes writing Atlas Shrugged (March 20)
Atlas Shrugged published (October 10)
1958 Begins teaching fiction writing class (January 18)
Presents first campus talk, at Queens College (March 6)
The Ayn Rand Column cover The Art of Nonfiction cover For the New Intellectual
1960 Delivers first major campus talk, “Faith and Force: Destroyers of the Modern World,” at Yale University (February 17)
1961 For the New Intellectual published (March 24)
Presents first Ford Hall Forum talk, “The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age” (March 26)
1962 First issue of The Objectivist Newsletter published (January)
Nathaniel Branden Institute opens (January)
Weekly column begins in the Los Angeles Times (June 17)
1963 Receives honorary doctorate from Lewis and Clark University (October 2)
1964 The Virtue of Selfishness published (December)
1966 First installment of “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology” published in The Objectivist (July)
1967 Makes first appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (August 16)
1968 Nathaniel Branden Institute closes (May)
1969 Begins teaching nonfiction writing course (March 8)
Witnesses launch of Apollo 11 (July 16)
Presents first epistemology workshop (October 11)
Romantic Manifesto cover Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology cover A catalog picture of Ayn Rand's books
1974 Presents “Philosophy: Who Needs It” talk at West Point (March 6)
Nora Drobysheva (Ayn Rand’s sister) arrives for visit from USSR (April 14)
Attends White House dinner for Alan Greenspan swearing-in (September 4)
1976 Publishes last article in The Ayn Rand Letter (January–February)
Attends White House dinner honoring Malcolm Fraser (July 27)
1977 Ford Hall Forum holds luncheon in her honor (April 10)
Outlines screenplay for Atlas Shrugged television miniseries (September)
1979 Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology published by New American Library (April)
Frank O’Connor dies (November 9)
Ayn Rand, in the 70s Philsophy: Who Needs It cover
1981 Delivers last Ford Hall Forum lecture, “The Age of Mediocrity” (April 26)
Delivers last public lecture, “The Sanction of the Victims,” in New Orleans (November 21)
1982 Writes her last page of “Atlas Shrugged” teleplay (January 1)
Dies in New York City (March 6)