From an article in TIME, pre-dated to October 12, 2009:
She knew how to make an entrance. Her dark hair cut in a severe pageboy, Ayn Rand would sweep into a room with a long black cape, a dollar-sign pin on her lapel and an ever present cigarette in an ivory holder. Melodramatic, yes, but Rand didn’t have time to be subtle. She had millions of people to convert to objectivism, her philosophy of radical individualism, limited government and avoidance of altruism and religion. Her adoring followers–some called them a cult–revered her as the high priestess of laissez-faire capitalism until her death in 1982 at age 77.
The bad economy has been good news for Rand’s legacy. Her fierce denunciations of government regulation have sent sales of her two best-known novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, soaring. Yet her me-first brand of capitalism has been excoriated for fomenting the recent financial crisis. And her most famous former acolyte–onetime Fed chairman Alan Greenspan–has been blamed for inflating the housing bubble by refusing to intervene in the market.
See the full article, “Ayn Rand: Extremist or Visionary?” for more. Its factual accuracy seems sketchy in places, but that’s par for the course.