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Joan Kennedy Taylor, RIP

I have heard from several friends and colleagues, including David M. Brown and Iris Bell, who report that Joan Kennedy Taylor passed away on the morning of October 29, 2005. This was confirmed by a visit, this morning, to Wendy McElroy's new forum, where Wendy has posted a brief notice.

The tentative plan is for calling hours at the Frank Campbell Funeral Home on 82nd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan on Wednesday, November 2, 2005, followed by calling hours in Lee, Massachusetts on Thursday, and a funeral and burial on Friday, November 4th in Stockbridge.

I had the honor and privilege of working very closely with Joan, who was a tireless defender of individual liberty; she contributed a fine essay to a volume I co-edited with Mimi Reisel Gladstein entitled Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. I enjoyed her work on individualism and feminism, including her book Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered. And I greatly valued her counsel and friendship.

Some time ago, during one of my own health setbacks, Joan took the subway out here to Brooklyn to visit me. We had a wonderful afternoon together. She was suffering from the illness that eventually took her life, but her spirit soared. Being with her was an inspiration.

I will miss her very, very much.

Rest in peace, friend.

Update #1: David M. Brown has posted an update on information concerning Joan Kennedy Taylor, which includes a statement by my friend and colleague Duncan Scott. Read that update here.

Update #2: David has posted additional reflections on Joan by my friend and colleague Jeff Riggenbach. Read those reflections here and at the "Friends of Joan" blog. See also reflections by Walter Olson.

Comments welcome.


In the December 1965 Objectivist Newsletter Ayn Rand endorsed Presuasion. As a result I subscribed and later brought all the back issues. Prsuasion was an excellent publication and I hope someone will get the issues together and republish them. David Dawson's very fine articles on conscription and Joan's book reviews would not be stale. I too know Joan and I am sadden at her death.

Hey, Chris, thanks for your words of remembrance. There are a lot of nice tributes all over the Internet at this time. In addition to the ones I listed in my post, I also liked Charles Murray's piece in Reason magazine. See here.