David Nolan – LP Founder – Passes Away

2010 Congressonal Debate

John McCain Shakes David Nolan's Hand

Sources close to David Nolan tell IPR he passed away last night.

Mister Nolan is survived by his Wife Elizabeth.  IPR does not have information about other famly members.

No cause of death is known at this time, confirmed by the same sources.

Mister Nolan was one of the original founders of the Libertarian Party.  He famously founded it in his living room in Boulder Colorado along with a generous handful of other founders.  Some credit him with ‘inventing’ the diamond political chart with two axis’, used often as a tool to debunk the left-right politica paradigm.

Mister Nolan was a sitting Board Member of the National Libertarian Party

24 thoughts on “David Nolan – LP Founder – Passes Away

  1. Steve Kubby

    I spoke to Elizabeth Nolan who confirmed that David passed away last night. The cause of death is unknown at this time. David had a profound affect upon many people, including myself. He will be sorely missed.

  2. chris

    i dont think showing a picture of him shaking hands with McCain is an appropriate way to remember him.

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  4. wayne root

    Shocking and sad. Please extend my condolences to Elizabeth Nolan. He was a good man and always a fierce fighter and champion for freedom. The entire LP family is sad tonight.

  5. Gains

    A truly remarkable human being whose presence and impact in this world is and will be timeless.

  6. Nic Leobold

    A pioneer in libertarian activism, and quite a nice guy. I am sorry to hear this.
    I enjoyed being friends with him on facebook, he always had a friendly comment to offer and shared his experience in plotting activist strategy and discussing theory. He kindly interfaced with the new generation of libertarians and inspired us.

  7. Andy

    Oh man, this is HORRIBLE news. David Nolan was an icon in the Libertarian Party as well as the greater Libertarian Movement. I spoke to him in person a few times and he seemed like a great guy. I always enjoyed reading his commentaries as well. He will be sorely missed. RIP.

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  9. Brian Holtz

    This is a sad day for the freedom movement. The Nolan Chart changed my life, when it told me at first glance why Left and Right had both always felt so Wrong.

  10. Art Olivier

    My condolences go out to Elizabeth. People in the liberty movement come and go. David was different; he was steadfast in his love for this nation and his desire for all people to be free. We will miss you OBF (Our Beloved Founder)!

  11. William Henry Harris

    I had the pleasure of knowing David Nolan when I was co-Chairman of the Liberty Amendment Committee of the U.S.A. under the National Chairmanship of Willis E. Stone who was one of the greatest orators in the Constitutionalist movement dating back to 1964 after Barry Golwater lost the presidential election to Lyndon B. Johnson. David Nolan was younger than myself, and was at that time heading the Young Liberty Amendment movement organizing the college campuses. Richard L. Solyom was the other co-chairman in New Jersey for the Liberty Amendment Committee of the U.S.A. Solyom also took the gold specie argument to the U.S. Supreme Court back in the early seventies. They rejected the case, and said it was a political question that Congress had to wrestle with. We have covered a lot of ground over the years for Liberty…

  12. Alan Pyeatt

    We will miss you, David.

    A true hero, and one of the great political thinkers of our time. IMHO, his creation of the Nolan Chart alone established him as a significant political theorist.

    I will carry the memory of he and Steve Kubby speaking outside the auditorium after Bob Barr’s nomination, encouraging us to stay in the Libertarian Party and keep fighting for principle, with me for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done for us, David!

  13. Andy

    My two favorite memories of David Nolan are as follows:

    1) During the 2008 National Convention in Denver, Jim Duensing and his family organized a 9/11 Truth event called Libertarians for Justice (it was held on the first official day of the convention). Certain people in the party attempted to block it from happening. David Nolan took a stand in favor of the event taking place. I don’t know if David Nolan was a 9/11 Truther himself, but I appreciated the fact that he took a stand for free speech and freedom of assembly. When I saw David Nolan at the National Convention I went up to him and thanked him for taking a stand in favor of the 9/11 Truth event and I also thanked him for founding the Libertarian Party.

    2) When I attended the Libertarian Party of Arizona State Convention in January of 2009 I got up and gave a short impromtu speech on the importance of starting ballot access drives early. David Nolan said that he agreed with everything that I said and he wrote out a check for $25 (which I forwarded to a state LP chapter). David Nolan was the only one in the room who donated that day.

    I saw David Nolan from a distance at the Saint Louis Airport while I was waiting for my flight. I thought about going up and talking to him but then I got distracted for a few moments and by the time I looked back over where I had seen him walking he was gone. I thought to myself, “That’s OK, I’ll see him again at other events so this won’t be my last opportunity to speak to him.” Unfortunately, this obviously did not turn out to be the case.


  14. Mike Binkley

    Heart-breaking news – and not just for David’s many friends. His passing is big loss for all of us.

    Beyond the LP, David, however, left another great legacy: the Nolan Chart, which provides a very intelligent and powerful way of framing political debate.

    Thank you, David, for your great contributions.

  15. Steve

    @ Chris #2 – Actually, showing him shaking hands with McCain might be the best possible way to remember him. Remember him as the man who spoke truth to power and put Liberty on the big stage.

  16. Kevin Knedler

    I agree with Steve # 17. He didn’t back down to them in that debate. We need more “big stages” to get the word out.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    yes, and Nolan towers over McCain. Nolan appears poised and confident. McCain, maniacal, forcing that smile. Strong imagemaking.

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  19. Gene Trosper

    When I heard from someone that David was going to debate McCain, I had to tune into the online broadcast and witness it myself. My wife and I stood cheering whenever he spoke. He not only spoke truth to power, but he directly confronted statism in an unflinching manner that should make everyone in the broader libertarian movement proud. Future LP candidates and activists would do good to learn from this great man’s example.

  20. David Bowers

    It was a pleasure knowing David and seeing him at our State Conventions and local events. We are all that much richer that Mr. Nolan passed through this time and place and helped to keep the light of liberty aflame in our hearts and minds.

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