A Goodbye to Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden died December 3rd 2014. The picture above features Nathaniel, myself, and my now wife (then girlfriend) at his home in California, December 2012. Nathaniel was a personal hero of mine.

He is featured on the header of Declarationism.com for his contributions in psychology and political philosophy (specifically their connection).

My wife and I spent an entire afternoon in his home with him. I spoke with him about his work and how thankful I was that he had created it. Most of what we spoke of related to the two books I had with me of his, The Art of Living Consciously and The Psychology of Romantic Love.

He autographed the books, pictured below.

He was at first hesitant to sign the books due to the illegibility of his hand writing (a symptom of his deteriorating health). My response was approximately,

 Whether or not anyone else knows you have signed the books is unimportant to me. What matters is that I will know you have signed them. The books will not ever be for sale.

He gave me a short tour of his home. Seeing his book collection was particularly wonderful, mesmerizing even. He had what appeared to be the sum of his and Ayn’s work – in editions I never even knew existed.

I actively wondered about the physical history of the books I was seeing. Each one had its own story for arriving on his shelf.

My fondest memory of the experience was when, mid conversation, he turned to his wife and commented with a smile “Can I adopt this one?”.

This was both amusing, and I think, the best compliment he could have given me.

In memory of Nathaniel, I have prepared the following links to videos of him and his ideas, that are extensive and in some cases hard to find.

NathanielBranden.com also has many great lectures difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere.

Nathaniel’s work in The Psychology of Romantic Love was hugely influential in deciding to marry my wife. It continues to inspire and influence me throughout my life. He will be dearly missed.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

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6 Responses to A Goodbye to Nathaniel Branden

  1. Charles Dahl December 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    I was lucky enough to meet him once in 1979, while promoting Psychology of Romantic Love. I had read all his books up to that time and told him how much they meant to me. He beamed like a kid half his age and thanked me. Later, after my mum died, I took the Psychology of High Self-Esteem course (now available on his website), and it helped enormously. Here’s my point: He WAS a hero, certainly one of mine, and he shall be missed. Colin Wilson once wrote that one day he would be regarded as one of the most important and influential psychologists of the latter 20th century. I think that will prove correct.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson December 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Hey Charles

      Thanks for commenting. I wish I could have been there in 79!

      I am in complete agreement in regards to his contributions with psychology.

      – ADJ

  2. Tom March 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm #


    I am attempting to write my own tribute and hopefully will find a home for it. I was 19 when I met him in LA and knew this guy was different. Since then, I’ve seen him over the years at Summer Seminars (IOS/Atlas Society,), CATO events (most recent one where both Barbara and Nathaniel attended, and other one-offs in DC. Chris Sciabarra has a nice tribute, if you want to call it that: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/001953.html

    I think the point I’m going to make is that his template must be picked up and reproduced, because and I hope, while conceptually the body of his work is understood, I’m not so sure the experience is understood. An integrated sum of confidence and respect, the relationship of the “I” to the “me”, experiencing pride in one own’s power is and the heroic achievement that represents, it not that quite obvious. Like an anciet piece of firmware that needs to be called, it might take other than a psychologist to replicate this template in images, words, metaphors and string them together so that the impact of what he’s saying shakes you down to your core. And, I don’t mean to be melodramatic here…but if your recall in Honoring the Self, he cited Wilber…”there is the edge of history….”


    • Anthony Dream Johnson June 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      Hey Tom

      Thank you for sharing and sorry for not responding sooner. I think your tribute has found a home and it is certainly welcome here.

      – ADJ

  3. Tom March 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    excuse typos

  4. Elizabeth August 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. Nathaniel changed my life as well and I never had the chance to meet him in person. Still, I will miss him knowing he is not here on the earth anymore. Elizabeth

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