Andrea Millen Rich, who was the first chair of the Libertarian Party of New York from 1973 to 1974, then known as the Free Libertarian Party, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 79, following a 19-year battle with lung cancer.
Andrea was born February 8, 1939, a daughter of Louis and Vera Millen. She graduated from Science Hill High School and attended the University of Alabama.
She was the wife of Howard Rich, another early party activist, for 41 years. Known as Andrea Millen when she was first involved in the party, she was elected the first state chair at the founding convention in 1973. She also served as Media Director in the early stages of the state party’s beginnings.
David Boaz paid tribute to her on Cato’s website:
“For more than 40 years Andrea was at the center of the libertarian movement, a mentor, counselor, friend, supporter, facilitator, networker, and gracious hostess to hundreds of freedom lovers – young, old, well-known, obscure, successful, down-on-their-luck, didn’t matter.”
Brian Doherty writes on Reason’s website that she was “one of America’s most tireless and effective promoters of libertarian thought.”
“Her career in the libertarian movement was long and varied. Among other things, she was national vice chair for the Libertarian Party in the mid-1970s, worked with the Center for Libertarian Studies in its early years, helped craft a successful national TV ad campaign for Ed Clark’s 1980 Libertarian presidential run, and served on the boards of directors of the Foundation for Economic Education (the first modern libertarian promotional organization), the Atlas Network (which helps free-market institutes around the world), and the Institute for Humane Studies (which trains and supports academics in libertarian thought). She also founded the libertarian book publishing imprint Fox & Wilkes and managed the Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties (which, disclosure, I won in 2011). And her Center for Independent Thought distributed John Stossel’s highly influential market-themed videos to classrooms across America.”