Article Image

David Nolan, founder of Libertarian Party has died.

Written by Subject: Death
Just received this sad news.  David Nolan, who along with eight others founded the Libertarian Party in his living room in Denver in 1971 has unexpectedly died yesterday (Saturday, Nov. 20).  He apparently suffered a stroke while driving alone.  His car went off the road and struck something which may have contributed to his death. 
He would have been 67 years old this Tuesday, and was trying to raise $1,000 for his favorite cause, "Advocates for Self Government."  He is survived by his wife Elizabeth.  More information forthcoming as it becomes available on his Facebook account
In Libertarian circles he is also known for having developed what became known as the Nolan Chart.
He just finished running against John McCain for his Senate seat in Arizona  having received over 80,000 votes in a four way race in which he handled himself throughout the campaign in a demeanor and with admiral robust candor that would make any libertarian proud.
Anyone who would like to submit a tribute or personal account of David Nolan is welcome to submit to publisher @ or comment below.
Nolan Chart caricature 

10 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ned The Head
Entered on:

A movement this young has to suffer the loss of it's founders. It's not a requirement of survival, it's just a symptom.

Comment by Rich Tomasso
Entered on:

David Nolan was a class act. I got to meet him at a few LP conventions and he was the opening speaker for the <a href="">NH Liberty Forum</a> last year. Even though he founded the LP and had all the establishment credentials, he loved grassroots activism and didn't get caught up in the trappings of leadership. He helped out causes across the country when no one expected it and when he easily could have saved those resources for himself and his own campaign. After 40 years, he was still walking the walk, still active and concerned with the state of politics and of liberty in America and elsewhere and was still making insights on both. He will be missed.

Comment by William Henry Harris
Entered on:

I remember David Nolan when he was the Young Liberty Amendment Committee of the U.S.A. Willis E. Stone was the National Chairman back in the sixties. As co-chairman of the Liberty Amendment Committee of New Jersey I had the pleasure of meeting this young man in our Chicago National Convention. My chair partner for New Jersey was Richard L. Solyom who brought a case for the Classic Gold Coin Standard all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court only to rebuffed by the "court" finding that it was an political question to be remedied in the U.S. Congress. Senator Jesse Helms was instrumental at that time to allow Americans to own gold again as he tacked that bill on to Senator Hubert Humpfrey's welfare bill and it passed. Pieces of Eight is a book that you should read to get a better understanding of the gold question. We now have Congressman Ron E. Paul helping in this fight to repeal the legal tender laws to have gold put back in contracts in commerce.

Comment by Alan R. Weiss
Entered on:

Not only have Libertarians lost a guiding light, so has America and perhaps the world.  David Nolan, you see, helped Found the Libertarian Party (LP) in 1976 in his living room with the late Roger MacBride and Toni Nathan.  With leaders including Ed Clark, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, L. Neil Smith, David Bergland, Dr. Mary Ruwart, the late great Aaron Russo, and many others, the LP is the third largest political party in the USA by far.  While the LP has had its share of problems, the Liberty Movement (that is to say, the Movement for more individual freedom, personal responsibility, free markets, and dramatically less bureaucracy) has taken firm roots with the candidacy of Ron Paul for President in 2008 and the modern Tea Party Movement.  God bless David Nolan, his wife Elizabeth, and may he rest in peace.  His legacy is secure indeed, and the fight for All Your Freedoms All The Time goes on.

Comment by oOoOo Starchild oOoOo
Entered on:
I'm sad that David Nolan did not live to see the freedom to which he dedicated his life. His passing was altogether too soon and unexpected, a real loss for our movement. Its most prominent founder is dead, but long live the Libertarian Party, and may it stay true to the path of libertarianism as he would have wished.


Comment by Gerhard Langguth
Entered on:

Some people live long and uneventful lives. Others like David Nolan and Ron Crickenberger change the world in whatever brief moments they are among us. And a select few get miraculous second chances like Michael Badnarik. It is my belief that the Creator – God, who or whatever your religion may say it is – often calls us home early. However, as creatures of free will we are endowed with the right to reply with something like “aw shucks Daddy can’t I just play a little while longer” so long as we accept responsibility for whatever pain and suffering our failure to heed the advice may bring.

Human history is replete with names like Jesus of Nazareth or Joan the Maid of Lorraine. Their tragic deaths are often the spark that ignited revolutions. No one living today can ascertain the truth of those or countless similar stories from the past. However, it is a well established fact that legends have at least some basis in reality.

Faith tells me that David, Harry, Ron and the many other friends of Liberty I have known are now in a better place and time. If you believe human existence extends beyond mere biology and that there are such a things as a soul and truly inalienable rights, then it becomes possible to imagine that death is neither a beginning nor an end. In my view when people like David “pass” they are replaced with new earthly souls that pick up the banner and march on.

So must we.

Comment by Jim Turney
Entered on:

David will be missed. He was an activist's activist, giving good advice, creating some basic tools of our movement and being a role model. Let's make him proud of what we do with the LP.

Comment by Kate OBrien
Entered on:

I was stunned when I heard the news. I never thought it possible he could die. Irrational, I know. But there it is.

One thing that leaps out at me is that he was truly a prophet; many of the political trends we are seeing now he predicted years ago.

A very sad day for the liberty movement. My sincere condolences to Elizabeth


Comment by Barry Hess
Entered on:

  It is a sad day. David's contributions to the freedom movement cannot be overstated.

He gave many of us a platform from which to preach the gospel of individual liberty to the masses, and with his 'Nolan Chart', he gave us a brilliant tool open their eyes.

His recent efforts as a US Senatorial candidate displayed his commitment to this incredible nation, the next generation and to "Truth" itself.

I was and remain very proud of him, and the privilege of knowing him.I will miss him, and pledge to carry on the good works he set in motion. He's got his 'freedom' and gets a big, "Job well done!" from me.

Comment by Ed Vallejo
Entered on:

 Oh my, I'm stunned.

This is hard to believe - we were just at the TV studio not that long ago, and had a great dinner afterwards.

My most sincere condolences to Elizabeth.

God Rest His Soul,


Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network:

Attorney For Freedom