Ralph Raico, American historian, Died at 80


Ralph Raico was born in 1936, and died on December 13, 2016.

He was an American libertarian historian of European liberalism.

Raico was formerly a professor of history at Buffalo State College.

He was from New York City, where he attended The Bronx High School of Science.

With the help of the Foundation for Economic Education, Raico and his classmate George Reisman arranged to meet with economist Ludwig von Mises, who subsequently invited them to attend his graduate seminar on Austrian economics at New York University.

While he was there he met fellow seminar attendee Murray Rothbard, who befriended him.

Murray Rothbard and his friends Raico, Reisman, Ronald Hamowy, and Robert Hessen formed a “self-conscious intellectual and activist salon” they named the “Circle Bastiat”.

During the mid-1950s, the Circle Bastiat also brought Raico into contact with novelist Ayn Rand and her followers, informally known at the time as “The Collective”.

He attended the first lectures about Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism.

Then the relations between the two groups soured, leading to an incident in which the Circle parodied the Collective, performing a skit in which Raico played the part of Rand’s protege Nathaniel Branden.

Since the summer of 1958 Rand and Rothbard had broken off all ties, and the groups stopped associating.

He received his B.A. from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where his adviser was Friedrich Hayek.

Ralph Raico passed away at 80 years old.