LibertarianTonie Nathan

When living in California, Nathan owned an insurance agency, a music publishing firm, and a decorating service. She then moved to Eugene, Oregon, got her degree in journalism, and worked as a radio and television producer, and sometimes hosted a talk show. Her son gave her some Ayn Rand books, and Nathan switched political parties, from Democrat to Libertarian. In 1972 she went to the first national Libertarian Party convention, intending to cover it as a journalist, and was “astonished” to be nominated as the party’s candidate for Vice President of the United States as the running mate of John Hospers. She was surely not the first woman to run for the office, but when Republican elector Roger MacBride of Virginia chose to vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Nixon and Agnew, Nathan became the first woman — and the first Jew — to receive an electoral vote in a presidential election in American history. That was the only vote, of course, but the bug bit, and Nathan ran for other offices in later years, including for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Oregon Senate. She was never elected. Nathan died in hospice on March 20, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She was 91.

From This is True for 23 March 2014