Ralph Raico
Born(1936-10-23)October 23, 1936
New York City, US
Died (aged 80)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
InfluencesFriedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Frederic Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Alexis de Tocqueville
Academic work
Main interestsClassical liberalism, libertarianism

Ralph Raico (/ˈrk/; October 23, 1936 – December 13, 2016) was an American libertarian historian of European liberalism[1] and a professor of history at Buffalo State College.[2]

Early life and education

Raico was from New York City,[3] where he attended the Bronx High School of Science. Through the Foundation for Economic Education, Raico and his classmate George Reisman arranged to meet with economist Ludwig von Mises, who subsequently invited them to attend his graduate seminar on Austrian economics at the New York University.[4] There, he met fellow seminar attendee Murray Rothbard, who befriended him.[5][6] Rothbard and his friends Raico, Reisman, Ronald Hamowy and Robert Hessen formed a "self-conscious intellectual and activist salon" they named the Circle Bastiat.[7][8]

In the mid-1950s, the Circle Bastiat also brought Raico into contact with novelist Ayn Rand and her followers, informally known at the time as The Collective.[8][9] Raico attended the first lectures about Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.[10] Eventually, relations between the two groups soured, leading to an incident in which the Circle parodied the Collective, performing a skit in which Raico played the part of Rand's protege Nathaniel Branden.[11] By the summer of 1958, Rand and Rothbard had broken off all ties, and the groups stopped associating.[10][11]

Raico received his B.A. from the City College of New York[3] and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where his adviser was Friedrich Hayek.[12]


While at the University of Chicago, Raico founded The New Individualist Review, a libertarian publication which first published in April 1961 and produced 17 issues until it ceased publication in 1968.[13] Raico and other graduate students comprised the editorial board. Its advisory board comprised Hayek, Milton Friedman and later George Stigler. In 1981, Friedman wrote that he believed the publication had "set an intellectual standard which has not yet, I believe, been matched by any of the more recent publications in the same philosophical tradition".[13][14]

Raico later became senior editor of Inquiry magazine. He was an associate editor of The Independent Review (a journal published by The Independent Institute)[2] and a senior fellow of the Mises Institute which published his work on the history of liberty and the connection between war and the state.[15] Raico translated Mises' book Liberalismus and various essays by Friedrich Hayek into English.[2]


Raico died on December 13, 2016, at the age of 80.



Book version of Raico's University of Chicago dissertation.

Book contributions

See also


  1. ^ Doherty 2007, pp. 32, 34.
  2. ^ a b c "Ralph Raico". The Independent Institute. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Ralph Raico". Future of Freedom Foundation. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Reisman 1996, p. xliii.
  5. ^ Doherty 2007, pp. 249–250.
  6. ^ Casey 2010, p. 10.
  7. ^ Doherty 2007, p. 251.
  8. ^ a b Reisman 1996, p. xliv.
  9. ^ Heller 2009, p. 251.
  10. ^ a b Reisman 1996, p. xlvi.
  11. ^ a b Heller 2009, p. 299.
  12. ^ Hamowy 1999, p. 339.
  13. ^ a b Hamowy 1999, pp. 339–346.
  14. ^ Riggenbach, Jeff (July 18, 2011). "The Journalism of Hamowy and Raico". Mises Daily Mises Institute. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  15. ^ "Ralph Raico biography". Mises Institute. Retrieved November 15, 2013.

Works cited