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 lectured internationally and was well known and respected by his colleagues at Duke. Dr. Lewis authored three books—Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History (Princeton University Press, 2010); Early Greek Lawgivers (Bristol Classical Press, 2007); and Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens (Duckworth Press, 2006)—as well as many other publications in academia and in the popular press. He was a frequent lecturer at Objectivist and non-Objectivist conferences throughout his career.

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.

Dr. Lewis’s wife Casey is planning a private memorial service later in 2012. She has requested that anyone wishing to contact her to please do so via email at:

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 email at

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.

Ayn Rand Institute