REASON Profile: Edward H. Crane III


The newly elected national chairman of the Libertarian Party (550 Kearney St., San Francisco, CA 94108), Edward H. Crane III is properly enthusiastic about the organization he heads: "The success of the Libertarian Party to date has been phenomenal. Those libertarians who criticize political action must be totally blind to the fact that we have exposed literally hundreds of thousands of people to the libertarian philosophy. How else could this have been achieved?

Crane has been involved in the Party since its inception, having been a delegate to the founding national convention, and was the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of California from 1972 to 1974. In addition, he was campaign manager for Tonie Nathan's 1972 Vice Presidential campaign, which earned her an electoral college vote.

Ed Crane received his B.S. degree in Finance from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 (taking time to be a precinct captain for Goldwater in three Berkeley precincts in 1964—"which was a little like trying to sell State of Israel bonds to the Arabs") and then received his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Southern California Graduate School of Business Administration.

He presently works as an investment counselor for Alliance Capital Management Corp. in San Francisco, and has written for such libertarian magazines as REASON and Option. A 30-year-old bachelor, Crane pursues a number of hobbies, including tennis, screwing, and basketball.

Among Crane's favorite writers are Ayn Rand, Rose Wilder Lane and the various Austrian economists. "The importance of the works of Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises in the field of economics to the future of the libertarian movement cannot be underestimated. The great thrust of government involvement in our lives is 'justified' on economic grounds. The Austrian School has clearly demonstrated the detrimental effects of any government involvement in the economy and the increasing recognition given to this school of economic thought will be immensely important to the progress of libertarianism."

Ed Crane sees a great future for the Libertarian Party but cautions that "the real threat to the L.P. lies in the temptation to make the big time through compromise of our principles to gain votes immediately. The fact is that the only hope we have for continued success is to stick to our principles and never compromise. If we do that there's nothing we can't accomplish."