Scope and Content
Title: Roy A. Childs papers,
Date (inclusive): 1933-1994
Collection Number: 93053
Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material:
46 manuscript boxes
(18.4 linear feet)
Correspondence, speeches and writings, reports, studies, memoranda, bulletins, serial issues, pamphlets, clippings, and sound
recordings relating to libertarian thought and activities in the United States, laissez-faire economics, and proposals for
decriminalization of drug use.
Childs, Roy A., 1949-1992.
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], Roy A. Childs Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1993.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
Roy A. Childs was born on January 4th, 1949, in Buffalo, New York. He was a prominent lecturer, essayist, and critic, and
is perhaps best known as a zealous libertarian thinker.
From a very young age, Childs became interested in the libertarian tradition. Before he entered high school he was already
reading up on political issues and introducing himself to the classics of individualist thought. Childs graduated from high
school in 1966, and shortly thereafter enrolled at the University of New York at Buffalo, with the goal of becoming a professor.
Shortly after enrolling at Buffalo he became enthralled by the work of Robert LeFevre and as a result won a full scholarship
to LeFevre's Comprehensive Course at his famous Freedom School, and thus left Buffalo in 1967. His education and intellectual
thirst took him from Buffalo, to the Freedom School, and back to Buffalo by the fall of 1968, when the Freedom School buckled.
The following year, he wrote his famous, “Open Letter to Ayn Rand,” thus quickly solidifying his place in the libertarian
During his career, Childs took on many roles. From 1977 to 1981 he was an editor of the
Libertarian Review. Later, from 1982 to 1984, he was a scholar at the Cato Institute, a prominent libertarian think tank. Childs not only produced
his own writings but he was also the editor and reviewer of hundreds of articles, books, and essays, many of which were created
during his time with Laissez Faire Books.
Childs died on May 22, 1992, leaving behind a legacy and a lasting impact on the libertarian tradition.
Scope and Content
The collection documents the professional career of Roy A. Childs Jr. The collection is divided into three series: correspondence,
printed matter, and speeches and writings. The first series documents the personal and professional correspondence sent and
received by Childs between 1967 and 1992. The second series is composed of printed matter in the form of articles, book jackets,
newspaper clippings, and various periodicals covering the time period of 1965 to 1992. Speeches and writings make up the third
and last series of the collection, which documents the time period between 1933 and 1994. Materials in this series are composed
of writings by various authors including the writings of Roy A. Childs as well as his research notes. Some of the subjects
covered in the reaserach notes include: Cold War, defense, drug legalization, foreign policy, the Holocaust, land reform,
libertarianism, Ayn Rand, and Young Americans for Freedom.
Joan Kennedy Taylor papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Subjects and Indexing Terms
United States--Politics and government.