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Tonie Nathan, 1923-2014

Theodora “Tonie” Nathan was the first woman — and the first Jew — to receive an electoral vote in a US presidential election.

Not Geraldine Ferraro. Not Joe Lieberman. Tonie Nathan.

She was selected as John Hospers’ running mate at the Libertarian Party’s first national convention in 1972. Virginia Republican elector Roger MacBride — who later changed his partisan affiliation to Libertarian and was that party’s 1976 presidential nominee — cast his vote for Hospers/Nathan instead of for Nixon/Agnew.

She died  Thursday at the age of 91. Here’s a local Oregon story on her life and death.


  1. paulie paulie March 21, 2014

    Goldwater’s father was Jewish, but his mother was not (making him a non-Jew under Jewish law), and he himself was Episcopalian.

  2. Jed Ziggler Jed Ziggler March 21, 2014

    Goldwater & Nathan. Two very intelligent Jews. 🙂

    R.I.P. Tonie, we love you and we miss you, and we’re so proud of your accomplishments.

  3. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman March 21, 2014

    Not to be take away from her important breakthrough, but Sen. Barry Goldwater received 52 electoral votes for President in 1964, making him the first Jew to win votes in the electoral college.

  4. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman March 21, 2014

    I met Tonie Nathan at the Denver convention in 1972 that founded The Libertarian Party. I voted for her nomination as the Vice-Presidential candidate. She was there at the beginning, and remained involved in The Libertarian Party for many years after that.

    I believe the last time I saw her was at the 10th anniversary convention in 1981, also in Denver.

  5. Vernon Vernon March 21, 2014

    “the first woman — and the first Jew — to receive an electoral vote in a US presidential election.”

    I take it people around here believe those are positive developments?

  6. Richard P. Burke Richard P. Burke March 21, 2014

    Tonie was a good soul and fought for liberty with the heart of a tiger.

  7. paulie paulie March 21, 2014

    I’m also pleased to see New Federalist back!


  8. Joe Joe March 21, 2014

    THE highlight of the 2012 national LP convention was her panel presentation and the photo I got of the two of us afterwards. What a charming lady.

  9. George Whitfield George Whitfield March 20, 2014

    With Toni Nathan’s death, an era seems to be passing. Two years ago, David nolan died and then John Hospers the year after. And now Toni. Toni Nathan was a remarkable person who was willing to help start something new and made history. I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly at a National Convention a few years ago.

  10. David David March 20, 2014

    I’ve met with Toni over the years and said hello in Las Vegas. We got her connected that day to one of the North California founders of the LP via Cell Phone. In the end both were glad to have talked which lasted some 20 to 30 minutes. A friend of Liberty will be missed.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt March 20, 2014

    I’m also pleased to see New Federalist back!

  12. Antirevolutionary Antirevolutionary March 20, 2014

    Welcome back NewFederalist. I hope you are well. And RIP Toni Nathan. I’m not a libertarian, but clearly Toni lived her life well and with dedication along with accomplishment.

  13. Austin Cassidy Austin Cassidy March 20, 2014

    Very sad to hear that. Many years ago Tonie was nice enough to send me an autographed copy of her book in response to a letter I sent her. She was extremely thoughtful and kind and will be missed.

  14. paulie paulie March 20, 2014

    RIP Tonie Nathan, a true pioneer of liberty. Much of what we have done in the decades since was made possible by what she was an instrumental part of back in ’72.

  15. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler March 20, 2014

    I am so glad that the “Hall of Liberty” was created and she was one of the first to go into this at the 2012 National LP Convention. Well done everyone in making that happen. It was an honor to meet her in Las Vegas.

  16. NewFederalist NewFederalist March 20, 2014

    Rest in peace, Tonie. I did meet her once. She was a splendid lady.

  17. Chuck Moulton Chuck Moulton March 20, 2014

    RIP. She was an enormous asset to the liberty movement and she will be missed.

  18. Fred Fred March 20, 2014

    A sad day for the Libertarian party
    She will be missed.
    Thank you for sharing the story.

  19. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt March 20, 2014

    I never met the woman. what a shame! RIP

Comments are closed.