Since the great crash of 2008, her writing has had another Benzedrine rush, as Rush Limbaugh hails her as a prophetess.
With her assertions that government is "evil" and selfishness is "the only virtue," she is the patron saint of the tea-partiers and the death panel doomsters.
Yet she remains one of the most popular writers in the United States, still selling 800,000 books a year from beyond the grave.
She takes the flabby staples of romantic fiction and peppers them with political ravings and rapes for the audience to cheer on.
All have the same core message: Anything that pleases the Superman's ego is good; anything that blocks it is bad.
Alisa Rosenbaum (her original name) was born in the icy winter of czarism, not long after the failed 1905 revolution ripped through her home city of St. Her father was a self-made Jewish pharmacist, while her mother was an aristocratic dilettante who loathed her three daughters.
She would tell them she never wanted children, and she kept them only out of duty. In elementary school, her class was asked to write an essay about why being a child was a joyous thing.
As her books became mega-sellers, Rand surrounded herself with a tightly policed cult of young people who believed she had found the One Objective Truth about the world.
They were required to memorize her novels and slapped down as "imbecilic" and "anti-life" by Rand if they asked questions.
Rand wrote great stretches of praise for him, saying he represented "the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatsoever for all that a society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own.
A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul. Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should." She called him "a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy," shimmering with "immense, explicit egotism." Rand had only one regret: "A strong man can eventually trample society under its feet.
In , published in 1943, a heroic architect called Howard Roark designs a housing project for the poor—not out of compassion but because he wants to build something mighty.
When his plans are slightly altered, he blows up the housing project, saying the purity of his vision has been contaminated by evil government bureaucrats.
So how did this little Russian bomb of pure immorality in a black wig become an American icon?