REASON Profile: Robert D. Kephart


It is not enough for a philosophical and political movement just to contain people who are capable ideologues or academicians. If such a movement is to challenge the existing culture it must also contain organizers and entrepreneurs who can market often radical ideas to a wide audience as effectively and profitably as possible.

Thirty-nine year old Robert Kephart is just such an entrepreneur. Since 1964 he has been publisher of the influential conservative newspaper HUMAN EVENTS (paid circulation 100,000) with responsibility for financial management, advertising, circulation and related administrative functions.

Mr. Kephart feels that his political goals have not changed at all over the years, only his strategy for achieving those goals, and so under the influence of people such as Ayn Rand, Leonard Read, Murray Rothbard, and Roy Childs he moved gradually to a libertarian position.

In 1972 he founded and became publisher of BOOKS FOR LIBERTARIANS, which he hopes to expand in scope and content, eventually creating from it LIBERTARIAN REVIEW, a general monthly review similar in style to NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. He also operates Audio Forum, a firm that manufactures and markets audio cassettes of speeches, seminars, debates, etc. of interest to libertarians and conservatives, and in the Fall he plans to start a bimonthly newsletter dealing with strategies for surviving depressions, devaluations, and other assorted misfortunes.

In addition to his publishing ventures Mr. Kephart is Secretary of the American Society of Humanistic Education, and is a Director of Green Valley School (which specializes in the treatment and education of severely disturbed or delinquent children). He is also a director of the National Taxpayers Union and is active in East Coast libertarian activities. He favors an ad hoc approach to issues, i.e., forming alliances when, where, and with whomever an issue can be effectively attacked.

Mr. Kephart's leisure activities include a passion for sailing (a prime motive in his current interest in moving to California) and he's a confirmed bibliophile and periodicals reader, being particularly interested at present in psychology, advertising and marketing, and political philosophy. Kephart also enjoys music (classical and rock), chess, photography and movies.