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Harry Browne at 1998 Libertarian Party convention in Virginia. Photo by Carol Moore. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Harry Browne

Harry Browne speaks at 1998 LP convention in Virginia.
Born (1933-Template:MONTHNUMBER-17)17, 1933
New York City, New York
Died 1, 2006(2006-Template:MONTHNUMBER-01) (aged 72)
Franklin, Tennessee
Occupation Writer, politician, investment analyst
Spouse(s) Pamela Lanier Wolfe Browne
Children Autumn Lee Browne

Harry Browne (June 17, 1933 – March 1, 2006) was an American libertarian best-selling writer, politician, and free-market investment analyst. He ran for President of the United States as the nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000.

Life[]

Browne was born in New York City to CBS radio personalities Cecil Margaret Davis and Edson Bradford Browne, and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He lived in Vancouver, Canada and Zurich, Switzerland in the late 1970s and early 1980s and resided in Franklin, Tennessee, at the time of his death.

He was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 5, 1953. He went to the Southwestern Signal Corps Training Center at Camp San Luis Obispo, California to study cryptography. On October 4, 1953 he was sent to Bikini Island in the Marshall Islands. He had a top-secret and atomic-energy clearance and on March 1, 1954 he witnessed the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb test.

In 1955 Browne was sent to Eniwetok to finish his tour of duty and afterwards was transferred to the Army Reserves at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was released from active military service on July 17, 1956. He was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces on February 28, 1961 and discharged from the Army Reserves on July 1, 1961.

Browne was a successful advertising and sales executive in the 1960s, but he gave it up to devote full-time to the “Americanist” cause. Tired of hearing complaints about the press, he set to work to do something positive. He believed that the newspapers of America would willingly buy material promoting the American way of life. So in 1961 he took on the proprietorship of American Way Features, Inc., a newspaper feature service, and as managing editor inaugurated a plan to turn the service from a subsidized program into a profit-making service. It sold “Americanist” features, in competition with all the recognized syndicates. His own column, The American Way, appeared in over 200 newspapers throughout America.

In the summer of 1962, Browne was named the advertising manager for the Liberty Amendment Committee's bimonthly publication American Progress for Economic Freedom. In October he was named associate editor, and in November he was the editor. The following Spring the magazine was renamed Freedom Magazine, and Browne continued as its editor until February 1964 when he turned his full-time attention to the American Way Features, Inc.

Also in the 1960s, Browne taught courses such as: The Economics of Freedom, The Tools of Success, Tools of the Market, The Economics of Success, and The Art of Profitable Living. Browne was an investment advisor for much of his life.

Books and views[]

He came into prominence in 1970 with his first book, How You Can Profit From The Coming Devaluation, which correctly predicted the devaluation of the dollar and subsequent inflation. The book helped many Americans survive, and some even profit, during the 1970s. It also introduced millions of people to the Austrian school of economics regarding the dangers fiat currency poses to liberty and prosperity. According to Texas Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul in his "A Tribute to the Late Harry Browne" which was read into the Congressional Record in 2006, "How You Can Profit From the Coming Devaluation is generally recognized as the founding document of the hard money movement, which combined the insights of the Austrian economists with a practical investment strategy."[1]

Browne's second book in 1973, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, focused on maximizing personal liberty and showed how to use libertarian principles to make your life much freer right now. It presented a unique libertarian view of morality, government, society, and human nature. Part I identifies the mental traps that are so easy to fall into – traps that prevent you from being as free as you could be. Part II provides specific techniques you can use today to obtain greater freedom from government, from societal restrictions, and from business, personal, and family problems. Part III shows how to make necessary changes to a freer life right now. Over the years this book became a classic handbook for personal liberty. Some politically active libertarians objected to his attitude of non-participation in politics, an attitude he himself changed later.

You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis was Browne's third book and reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He continued to author books and articles on investing through the late 1990s and hosted an Internet radio call-in show. In all, Browne wrote 13 books and sold 2 million copies of his books.

Browne's books are popular with libertarians, hard money proponents, and survivalists.[2]

Browne also authored books and gave lectures on actively living a Libertarian lifestyle. His book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World gave a detailed explanation of how one can bring Libertarian concepts to every aspect of your life. His posthumously released 1960s lecture series, "The Art of Profitable Living," was released as a 20-CD album titled, "Rule Your World."

He suggested that people think about structuring their lives in a way that would allow them freedom from social, economic, moral, and psychological entanglements. In the social sphere he taught about what he called the "identity trap" in which a person expects of others and themselves what is not in their nature. Instead, he taught how one should recognize one's nature and the nature of others, and then maximize the benefit that is there in reality, rather than wasting one's life trying to change oneself and others.

Browne pointed out a dozen or so "traps" and then gave a detailed explanation of how one can break out of these traps. He suggested that you put values on all things, like what is the price it would take to remove a "trap", and ask yourself if it is worth that cost; putting values on all things from relationships to one's own worth as a friend, consumer, producer, becomes very valuable in making perfect sense of a complex world.[3]

Presidential campaigns[]

Browne was the presidential nominee of the United States Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000. He received 485,798 votes or 0.5% of the vote in 1996 and 384,516 votes or 0.4% of the vote in 2000.

His campaign qualified for matching funds during each election but did not accept them, per his campaign platform.[4] Browne's refusal to accept matching funds won him expected praise from libertarians and those who are against the concept of federal matching funds, but also earned him somewhat greater exposure in the "mainstream" media, as very few American presidential candidates who qualified for matching funds refused them. In interviews, Browne had claimed he needed to be true to what he had preached in his libertarian speeches and that "it would be highly inappropriate for me to stick my nose in the trough after having denounced the Republicans and Democrats for doing so." During both of these elections, the Libertarian Party managed to get on the ballot in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Browne did not appear on the 2000 Arizona ballot, however, as the Arizona Libertarian Party instead chose to run L. Neil Smith, whose candidacy was a protest against that of Browne.

Claims of wrongdoing by Libertarian National Committee staffers during Browne's 1996 presidential campaign surfaced during his second run in 2000. Browne responded to allegations surrounding the controversy.[5]

Policy advocate[]

After the 2000 elections, Browne had continued working to increase the popularity of libertarian goals to reduce the size and scope of government. In addition to writing and making appearances on behalf of the Downsize DC Foundation (an organization he helped to co-found and for which he served as Director of Public Policy for a year and a half), he hosted two weekly network radio shows,[6] one on Saturdays dealing with politics, which he often called “The Libertarian Conversation” (since listeners were encouraged to call in), and the other on Sundays, called "The Money Show", dealing with financial topics. Both of these radio programs were on the Genesis Communications Network. Browne also worked with the Free Market News Network, of which he was the President for much of 2005, and a Senior Political Analyst. Via Free Market News, he had his own internet-based television show called This Week In Liberty, which ran for 25 episodes.

Prior to his death, he was also working on a book called The War Racket: The Lies, Myths, and Propaganda that Feed the American War Machine. War, he contended, was just another government program, and was essentially flawed because "government never solves anything." According to Jim Babka, "As Harry explained to me, the book was unlike any other he had ever written. Harry was well-read in his history, but after starting on the project he realized that 'well-read’ wasn’t enough." According to Browne's wife, Pamela, he collected over 400 books, read almost all of them, and made copious notes. He was struggling with the book's structure at the time of his death.[7]

Harry Browne also authored thousands of articles, most of which can be found on his website, HarryBrowne.org. He was also a contributor to the news and opinion blog LewRockwell.com, to Antiwar.com, and to World Net Daily. He published the financial newsletter Harry Browne Special Reports from 1974 to 1997.

A column he wrote titled “When Will We Learn” discussing the September 11 attacks persuaded Larry Elder to break with the Libertarian Party and join the Republican Party. Browne, however, always tried to make it clear that his opinions were his own, and not necessarily reflective of the Libertarian Party. It was his most-read column, ever, and was also published in foreign languages.Template:Citation needed

According to Jim Babka, “Harry had warned that a day like [September 11, 2001] was coming and he was actually surprised that some of those who’d listened to him and supported him were shocked. He thought the anger should’ve been directed at the 'geniuses' who’d managed our nation’s foreign policy.”

Death[]

Browne suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. During the year prior to his death he spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital and a wheelchair, but he continued to write, give speeches, and host an ETV (internet-based television) show called "This Week in Liberty with Harry Browne" on the Internet-based Free Market News Network. He died on the evening of March 1, 2006 at his home in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife, Pamela, beside him. He was 72 years old. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Lanier Wolfe Browne, and his daughter, Autumn Lee Browne.[8]

On March 30, 2006, Harry Browne was eulogized in Congress by U.S. Representative Dr. Ron Paul.[9]

Publications[]

Books
  • How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation. Arlington House. 1970. ISBN 978-0-87000-073-7.
  • How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A handbook for personal liberty. 1973.
  • You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis. Macmillan Publishing Co. 1974. ISBN 978-0-02-517460-3.
  • Complete Guide to Swiss Bank Accounts. McGraw-Hill. 1976. ISBN 978-0-07-008483-4.
  • New Profits from the Monetary Crisis. Morrow. 1978. ISBN 978-0-688-03373-6.
  • Inflation-Proofing Your Investments: A Permanent Program That Will Protect You Against Inflation and Depression. Morrow. 1981. ISBN 978-0-688-03576-1. (with Terry Coxon)
  • Investment Rule #1. 1985. (Privately published)
  • Why the Best-Laid Investment Plans Usually Go Wrong & How You Can Find Safety and Profit in an Uncertain World. William Morrow & Co. 1987. ISBN 978-0-688-05995-8.
  • The Economic Time Bomb: How You Can Profit from the Emerging Crises. St. Martin's Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0-312-02581-6.
  • Why Government Doesn’t Work. St. Martin's Press. 1995.
  • Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes. St. Martin's Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-312-24703-4.
  • The Great Libertarian Offer. 2000.
  • Liberty A to Z. 2004.
Unfinished books
  • The War Racket (unfinished at the time of his death)
Articles
Posthumous collections

Since his death, Harry's wife Pamela has put together several collections of his speeches and writings in audio and e-book format.

  • 99% of All You Need to Know About Money & its Effect Upon the Economy
  • Freedom Speeches, Volume 1
  • Freedom the American Way
  • How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation & Monetary Crisis
  • Investment Strategy in an Uncertain World
  • Rule Your World!
  • The Secret of Selling ~ Anything
  • The War Racket – Part 1
  • The War Racket – Part 2

See also[]

References[]

External links[]

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