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Childs (Roy A.) papers
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  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Roy A. Childs papers
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1994
    Collection Number: 93053
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 46 manuscript boxes, 2 sound cassettes (18.4 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: 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.
    Creator: Childs, Roy A., 1949-1992


    Box FH16 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1993.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Roy A. Childs Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    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 world.
    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 research notes include: Cold War, defense, drug legalization, foreign policy, the Holocaust, land reform, libertarianism, Ayn Rand, and Young Americans for Freedom.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Free enterprise
    Libertarianism -- United States
    Drug legalization