Characters in Atlas Shrugged

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Characters in Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged.

Balph Eubank

Called "the literary leader of the age", despite the fact that he is incapable of writing anything that people actually want to read. What people want to read, he says, is irrelevant. He complains that it is disgraceful that artists are treated as peddlers, and that there should be a law limiting the sales of books to ten thousand copies. He is a member of the Looters. Balph Eubank appears in section 161.

Ben Nealy

A railroad contractor whom Dagny Taggart hires to replace the track on the Rio Norte Line with Rearden Metal. Nealy is incompetent, but Dagny can find no one better in all the country. Nealy believes that anything can get done with enough muscle power. He sees no role for intelligence in human achievement, and this is manifest in his inability to organize the project and to make decisions. He relies on Dagny and Ellis Wyatt to run things, and resents them for doing it, because it appears to him like they are just bossing people around. Ben Nealy appears in section 171.

Bertram Scudder

Editorial writer for the magazine The Future. He typically bashes business and businessmen, but he never says anything specific in his articles, relying on innuendo, sneers, and denunciation. He wrote a hatchet job on Hank Rearden called The Octopus. He is also vocal in support of the Equalization of Opportunity Bill. Bertram Scudder appears in section 161.

Betty Pope

A wealthy socialite who is having a meaningless sexual affair with James Taggart that coincides with the overall meaninglessness of her life. She regrets having to wake up every morning because she has to face another empty day. She is deliberately crude in a way that casts ridicule on her high social position. Betty Pope appears in sections 142 and 161.

Brakeman

An unnamed employee working on the Taggart Comet train. Dagny Taggart hears Brakeman whistling the theme of a concerto. When she asks him what piece it is from, he says it is Halley's Fifth Concerto. When Dagny points out that Richard Halley only wrote four concertos, Brakeman claims he made a mistake and he doesn't recall where he heard the piece.

Later, after Dagny instructs the train crew how to proceed, he asks a co-worker who she is, and learns she is the one who runs Taggart Transcontinental.

It is later discovered that the unknown brakeman is one of the strikers, when Dagny meets him in the valley. Brakeman appears in sections 112 and 113.

Cherryl Brooks

Dime store shopgirl who marries James Taggart after a chance encounter in her store the night the John Galt Line was deemed his greatest success. She marries him thinking he is the heroic person behind Taggart Transcontinental. She is horrible to Dagny until the night before she commits suicide, when she confesses to Dagny that she married Jim, thinking she was marrying Dagny. Like Eddie Willers, Cherryl is one representation of a "good" person who lacks the extraordinary capacities of the primary heroes of the novel.

Claude Slagenhop

The president of political organization Friends of Global Progress (which is supported by Philip Rearden), and one of Lillian Rearden's friends. He believes that ideas are just air, that this is no time for talk, but for action. He is not bothered by the fact that action unguided by ideas is random and pointless. Global Progress is a sponsor of the Equalization of Opportunity Bill. Claude Slagenhop appears in section 161.

Cuffy Meigs

A looter who's assigned by Wesley Mouch to keep watch over the workings of Taggart Transcontinental, and later assumes control over the company after Dagny Taggart leaves. He carries a pistol and a lucky rabbit's foot, he dresses in a military uniform. The "spiritual heir" of Dr. Robert Stadler, Meigs comes to a fitting end at the hands of Project X.

Dagny Taggart

The main character in Atlas Shrugged (also the name of her namesake Mrs. Nathaniel Taggart). Dagny is Vice-President in Charge of Operation at Taggart Transcontinental. She is the female hero, the counterpart to John Galt, her journey is the journey of the reader exploring and understanding Galt's philosophy. Those in the know understand that she is the one who really runs the railroad. In the course of the novel, she forms romantic liaisons with three men of ability. Francisco d'Anconia, Hank Rearden and John Galt in order. John is the one who, because of the sum-total of his qualities, will become the choice of Dagny. Dagny appears in sections 112, 113, 114, 132, 133, 141, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 152, and 161. "Dagny" is a Scandinavian name, quite rare in the US, and presumably implies that the original Dagny Taggart in the 19th Century was of Scandinavian origin. (See [1]).

Dan Conway

The middle-aged president of the Phoenix-Durango railroad. Running a railroad is just about the only thing he knows. When the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule is used to drive his business out of Colorado, he loses the will to fight, and resigns himself to a quiet life of books and fishing. He claims that somebody had to be sacrificed, it turned out to be him, and he has no right to complain, bowing to the will of the majority. When pressed he says he doesn't really believe this is right, but he can't understand why it is wrong and what the alternative might be. He is trapped by a moral code that makes him a willing victim, and rather than challenge that morality, he simply gives up. Dan Conway appears in sections 145 and 146, and is mentioned in section 148.

Dick McNamara

A contractor who finished the San Sebastian Line and who is hired to lay the new Rearden Metal track for the Rio Norte Line. Before he gets a chance to do so, he mysteriously disappears. Dick McNamara is mentioned in sections 133 and 141.

Eddie Willers

Special Assistant to the Vice-President in Charge of Operation at Taggart Transcontinental. He grew up with Dagny Taggart. His father and grandfather worked for the Taggarts, and he followed in their footsteps. He is completely loyal to Dagny and to Taggart Transcontinental. He is also secretly in love with Dagny. Willers is generally assumed to represent the common man: someone who does not possess the promethian creative ability of The Strikers, but nevertheless matches them in moral courage and is capable of appreciating and making use of their creations. Eddie Willers appears in sections 111, 114, 117, 132, 133, 141, 151, and 152.

Ellis Wyatt

The head of Wyatt Oil. He has almost single-handedly revived the economy of Colorado by discovering oil there. Of all the disappearances of industrialists in the novel, Wyatt's, involving the fiery destruction of his oil wells, is surely the most dramatic. Ellis Wyatt is mentioned or appears in sections 111, 114, 132, 146, 147, 148, and 152.

Francisco d'Anconia

One of the central characters in Atlas Shrugged. By all accounts, he is a worthless millionaire playboy, owner by inheritance of the world's largest copper mining empire, the man behind the San Sebastian Mines, and a childhood friend and first love of Dagny Taggart.

Francisco began working on the sly as a teenager in order to learn all he could about business. While still a student at Patrick Henry University, he began working at a copper foundry, and investing in the stock market. By the time he was twenty he had made enough to purchase the foundry. He began working for d'Anconia Copper as assistant superintendent of a mine in Montana, but was quickly promoted to head of the New York office. He took over d'Anconia Copper at age 23, after the death of his father.

When he was 26, Francisco secretly joined the Strikers and began to slowly destroy the d'Anconia empire so the Looters could not get it. He adopted the persona of a worthless playboy, by which he is known to the world, as an effective cover.

His full name is Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian d'Anconia.

According to Adam Reed (Who is Francisco D'Anconia?), d'Anconia is the only Hero-class character who is recognizably Jewish (not in the religious, but in the historical sense, like Ayn Rand herself). Francisco D'Anconia appears or is mentioned in sections 132, 141, 144, 151, and 152 - this last section includes a detailed history of his life.

Hank Rearden

One of the central characters in Atlas Shrugged. He is the founder of Rearden Steel and the inventor of Rearden Metal. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Lillian, his brother Philip, and an elderly woman known only as Rearden's Mother, all of whom he supports. Gwen Ives is his secretary.

The character of Hank Rearden has two important roles to play in the novel. First, he is in the same position as the reader in that he is aware that there is something wrong with the world but is not sure what it is. Rearden is guided toward an understanding of the solution through his friendship with Francisco d'Anconia, who does know the secret, and by this mechanism the reader is also prepared to understand the secret when it is revealed explicitly in Galt's Speech.

Second, Rearden is used to illustrate Rand's theory of sex. Lillian Rearden cannot appreciate Hank Rearden's virtues, and she is portrayed as being disgusted by sex. Dagny Taggart clearly does appreciate Rearden's virtues, and this appreciation evolves into a sexual desire. Rearden is torn by a contradiction because he accepts the premises of the traditional view of sex as a lower instinct, while responding sexually to Dagny, who represents his highest values. Rearden struggles to resolve this internal conflict and in doing so illustrates Rand's sexual theory. Rearden appears in sections 121, 132, 147, and 161, and is mentioned in sections 114 and 131.

Hugh Akston

Identified as "One of the last great advocates of reason." He was a renowned philosopher and the head of the Department of Philosophy at Patrick Henry University, where he taught Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt, and Ragnar Danneskjöld. He was, along with Robert Stadler, a father figure to these three. Akston's name is so hallowed that a young lady, on hearing that Francisco had studied under him, is shocked. She thought he must have been one of those great names from an earlier century. Hugh Akston is mentioned in section 161.

James Taggart

The President of Taggart Transcontinental and a leader of the Looters. Taggart is an expert influence peddler who is incapable of making decisions on his own. He relies on his sister Dagny Taggart to actually run the railroad, but nonetheless opposes her in almost every endeavor. In a sense, he is the antithesis of Dagny.

As the novel progresses, the moral philosophy of the Looters is revealed: it is a code of nihilism. The goal of this code is to not exist, to become a zero. Taggart struggles to remain unaware that this is his goal. He maintains his pretence that he wants to live, and becomes horrified whenever his mind starts to grasp the truth about himself. This contradiction leads to the recurring absurdity of his life: the desire to destroy those on whom his life depends, and the horror that he will succeed at this. James Taggart appears in sections 111, 114, 131, 132, 143, 144, 152 and 161, and is mentioned in sections 146 and 148.

John Galt

  • The question "Who is John Galt?" is asked repeatedly throughout Atlas Shrugged. Late into the book we learn that John Galt is the man who stopped the motor of the world and the leader of the Strikers. He is also the same character as the Mystery Worker.

The son of an Ohio garage mechanic, Galt left home at age 12 and began college at Patrick Henry University at age 16. There he befriended Francisco d'Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld, all three of whom double-majored in physics and philosophy. They were the cherished students of the brilliant scientist Robert Stadler and the brilliant philosopher Hugh Akston.

After graduating, Galt became an engineer at the Twentieth Century Motor Works where he designed a revolutionary new motor powered by ambient static electricity with the potential to change the world. Like Ellis Wyatt, he has created what many had for years said was impossible. When the company owners decided to run the factory by the collectivist maxim, 'By each according to his ability, to each according to his need', Galt organized a successful labor strike, proclaiming his promise to stop the motor of the world. He began traversing the globe, meeting the world's most successful businessmen, systematically convincing them to follow in his footsteps; one by one, they began abandoning their business empires (which, Galt convinced them, were doomed to failure anyhow, given the increased nationalization of industry by the government).

Secretly, these captains of industry, led by Galt and banker Midas Mulligan, had created their own society — a secret enclave of rational individualists living in "Galt's Gulch", a town secluded high in a wilderness of mountains. Dagny accidentally finds the town — and a shocked John Galt — by crash-landing a light aircraft while pursuing Quentin Daniels.

Since everyone across the country is repeating the phrase, "Who is John Galt?", it is natural that many people have attempted to answer that question. The phrase becomes an expression of helplessness and despair at the current state of the world. Dagny Taggart hears a number of John Galt Legends before finding the real John Galt and eventually joining his cause, and learning that all of the stories have an element of truth to them.

There is a clothing store in Vail, Colorado called John Galt Ltd. One presumes that, on occasion, a customer unknowingly walks in and asks, "Who is John Galt?"
There is a "John Galt Way" in Florence, NJ near the River LINE light rail station.
There is a "John Galt Blvd." in Omaha, NE.
There is a "John Galt Press" published by students of Bates College Lewiston, ME.
There is a "John Galt Solutions, Inc." a software company in Chicago, IL.

Lillian Rearden

The wildly unsupportive wife of Hank Rearden. They have been married eight years as the novel begins.

Lillian is a frigid Moocher who seeks to destroy her husband. She compares being Rearden's wife with owning the world's most powerful horse. Since she cannot comfortably ride a horse that goes too fast, she must bridle it down to her level, even if that means it will never reach its full potential and its power will be greviously wasted.

Lillian also serves to illustrate Rand's Theory of sex. She believes sex is a base animal instinct and that sexual indulgence is a sign of moral weakness. She is incapable of feeling this kind of desire, which she believes testifies to her moral superiority. However, according to the theory of sex Lillian's lack of sexual capacity results from her inability to experience value in herself; she is therefore unable to respond sexually when she experiences value in others.

Lillian tolerates sex with her husband only because she is 'realistic' enough to know he is just a brute who requires satisfaction of his brute instincts. In section 161 she indicates that she abhors Francisco d'Anconia, because she believes he is a sexual adventurer. Lillian Rearden appears in sections 121 and 161.

The Looters

A group of antagonistic characters sometimes referred to as "James Taggart and his friends". They are similar to the Moochers. The Looters consist of men and women who use force to obtain value from those who produce it. They seek to destroy the producers despite the fact that they are dependent upon them. The Looters include: Mr. Thompson, Balph Eubank, Floyd Ferris, James Taggart, Orren Boyle, Paul Larkin, Robert Stadler, Simon Pritchett, Wesley Mouch, and Cuffy Miegs.

Midas Mulligan

A wealthy banker who mysteriously disappears in protest after he is given a court order to loan money to an incompetent loan applicant. Midas Mulligan is responsible for the creation and distribution of the money that is exclusively used in Galt's Gulch, and is the original owner of the land where Galt's Gulch is located.

The Moochers

A group of characters, similar to the Looters, who use guilt as a weapon against those who produce value. They seek to destroy the producers despite the fact that they are dependent upon them. The Moochers include Lillian Rearden, Philip Rearden, and Hank Rearden's mother.

Mort Liddy

A hack composer who writes trite scores for movies and modern symphonies that no one listens to. He believes melody is a primitive vulgarity. He is one of Lillian Rearden's friends and a member of the cultural elite. Mort Liddy appears in section 161.

Mr. Mowen

The president of the Amalgamated Switch and Signal Company, Inc. of Connecticut. He is a businessman who sees nothing wrong with the moral code that is destroying society and would never dream of saying he is in business for any reason other than the good of society. He is unable to grapple with abstract issues, and is frightened of anything controversial. Dagny Taggart hires Mr. Mowen to produce switches made of Rearden Metal. He is reluctant to build anything with this unproven technology, and has to be ridden and cajoled before he is willing to accept the contract. When pressured by public opinion, he discontinues production of the switches, forcing Dagny to find an alternative source. Mr. Mowen appears in section 171.

Mystery Worker

A menial worker for Taggart Transcontinental who often dines with Eddie Willers in the employee's cafeteria. Eddie finds him very easy to talk to, and Mystery Worker not-so-subtly leads him on so that Eddie reveals important information about Dagny Taggart and Taggart Transcontinental. Eddie tells him which suppliers and contractors Dagny is most dependent on, and with remarkable consistency, those are the next men to disappear mysteriously. Later in the novel the reader discovers the true identity of the Mystery Worker to be John Galt. Mystery Worker appears in section 133.

The unnamed newsstand owner

He works in the Taggart Terminal. Twenty years ago he owned a cigarette factory but it went under, and he's been working at his newsstand ever since. He is a collector of cigarettes, and knows every brand ever made. He occasionally chats with Dagny Taggart when she comes by. On one occasion, in section 132, after Dagny asks him about his collection, he bemoans the fact that there are no new brands and the old brands are all disappearing. He examines a cigarette given to Dagny by Hugh Akston, but it is a new brand that he has never seen before. It carries the sign of the dollar. In his first appearance, the Newsstand Owner likens the fire of a cigarette to the fire of the mind. This alludes to the Greek myth of Prometheus, who gave mankind the gift of fire, allowing it to raise itself up and become civilized. In Atlas Shrugged, it is the mind of man that raises mankind. Thus the cigarettes become symbolic of the men of the mind. The disappearance of the old brands represents the disappearance of the men of the mind, and the Newsstand Owner's discovery of the new brand foreshadows Dagny's discovery of a new kind of men of the mind.

Orren Boyle

The head of Associated Steel and a friend of James Taggart. He is one of the Looters. He is an investor in the San Sebastian Mines. Orren Boyle appears or is mentioned in sections 111, 114, 131, 132, 144, and 152.

Owen Kellogg

Assistant to the Manager of the Taggart Terminal in New York. He catches Dagny Taggart's eye as one of the few competent men on staff. After seeing the sorry state of the Ohio Division she decides to make him to its new Superintendent. However, as soon as she returns to New York, Kellogg informs her that he is quitting his job. He admits that he loves his work, but that's not enough to keep him. He won't say why he is leaving or what he will do. Later, he is noticed working as transient labor by the unsuccessful/unmotivated businessman Mr. Mowen. Owen Kellog eventually reaches, and settles in Atlantis. Owen Kellogg appears in sections 112 and 114.

Paul Larkin

An unsuccessful, middle-aged businessman, a friend of the Rearden family, and a member of the Looters. In section 121 Larkin visits Philadelphia to warn Hank Rearden of possible trouble from Washington. In section 131 he meets with the other Looters to work out a plan to bring Rearden down. James Taggart knows he is friends with Hank Rearden and challenges his loyalty, and Larkin assures Taggart that he will go along with them. Paul Larkin appears in sections 121, 132, and 2A1.

Philip Rearden

The younger brother of Hank Rearden, and a Moocher. He lives in his brother's home in Philadelphia and is completely dependent on him. He believes that the source of his sustenance is evil and would love to see him destroyed. He has never had a career and spends his time perfunctorily working for various social groups. He becomes resentful of his brother's charity. He then requests that he be granted a job from his brother because he should not have to be burdened by the feeling of inadequacy of not earning his own livelihood. When confronted by his brother on how this job should be a mutually beneficial arrangement, Philip shrugs the argument off as irrelevant and that the job should be entitled to him solely based on his need for money and the fact of familial ties. Philip Rearden appears in sections 121 and 161.

Quentin Daniels

An enterprising engineer hired by Dagny Taggart to reconstruct John Galt's motor. Partway through this process, Quentin withdraws his effort for the same reasons John Galt himself had. Dagny sets out to meet Quentin in hopes of convincing him to resume his work. John Galt narrowly gets to him first. Dagny's pursuit of Quentin leads her to "Galt's Gulch"

Ragnar Danneskjöld

One of the original Strikers. He is now world famous as a pirate. Ragnar was from Norway, the son of a bishop and the scion of one of Norway's most ancient, noble families. He attended Patrick Henry University and became friends with John Galt and Francisco d'Anconia, while studying under Hugh Akston and Robert Stadler.

Ragnar seizes relief ships that are being sent from the United States to Europe. No one knows what he does with the goods he seizes. As the novel progresses, Ragnar begins, for the first time, to become active in American waters, and is even spotted in Delaware Bay. Reportedly, his ship is better than any available in the fleets of the world's navies.

When he became a pirate, he was disowned and excommunicated. There is a price on his head in Norway, Portugal, Turkey.

According to Ayn Rand (verbal report), his name is a tribute to Victor Hugo. In Hugo's first novel, Hans of Iceland, the hero becomes the first of the Counts of Danneskjöld. His name may be a pun on 'Dane's Gold', although "skjöld" means shield, not gold. Ragnar Danneskjöld appears in section 161.

Rearden's mother

Named Gertrude, she is a Moocher who lives with her son Hank Rearden at his home in Philadelphia. She is involved in church-based charity work, and berates Rearden whenever she can. She insults him by saying he was always selfish, even as a child. She dotes on her weak son Philip Rearden. Rearden's mother appears in section 121.

Richard Halley

Dagny Taggart's favorite composer, who mysteriously disappeared after the evening of his greatest triumph. In section 141 we learn that Richard Halley spent years as a struggling and unappreciated composer. At age 24 his opera Phaethon was performed for the first time, to an audience who booed and heckled it. (It was based on the Greek myth in which Phaethon steals his father's chariot, and dies in an audacious attempt to drive the sun across the sky. Halley changed the story, though, into one of triumph, in which Phaethon succeeds.) For years Halley wrote in obscurity. After nineteen years, Phaethon was performed again, but this time it was received to the greatest ovation the opera house had ever heard. It appears his critics felt he had paid his dues long enough that he was at last worthy of their approval. The following day, Halley retired, sold the rights to his music, and disappeared. Richard Halley is mentioned in sections 112, 114, 133, and 141, and appears in section 152.

Dr. Robert Stadler

A former professor at Patrick Henry University, mentor to Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt and Ragnar Danneskjöld. He has since become a sell-out, one who had great promise but squandered it for social approval, to the detriment of the free. He works at the State Science Institute where all his inventions are perverted for use by the military, including the instrument of his demise: Project X.

Dr. Simon Pritchett

The prestigious head of the Department of Philosophy at Patrick Henry University and is considered the leading philosopher of the age. He is also a Looter. He is certainly representative of the philosophy of the age - he is a crude reductionist who believes man is nothing but a collection of chemicals; he believes there are no standards, that definitions are fluid, reason is a superstition, that it is futile to seek meaning in life, and that the duty of a philosopher is to show that nothing can be understood. He explains all this in his book The Metaphysical Contradictions of the Universe, and at cocktail parties. Dr. Pritchett appears in section 161.

The Strikers

People of the mind who go on strike because they do not appreciate being exploited by the Looters and demonized by a society who depends on them for its very existence. The leader of the Strikers is John Galt. Other Strikers include: Hugh Akston, Francisco d'Anconia, Ragnar Danneskjöld, Richard Halley, and the Brakeman. Characters who join the Strikers in the course of the book include: Dagny Taggart, Ellis Wyatt, Hank Rearden, Dick McNamara, and Owen Kellogg.

Mr. Thompson

The "Head of the State," which essentially means that he's the President of the United States, though he's never specifically referred to as such. In the world of Atlas Shrugged all Presidents and Prime Ministers are referred to simply as "Head of the State" and "Mr. ____." This is because countries have been standardized as "People's States" which seem to share a common form of government. Thomspon's title can thus be seen as reflecting the fact that the US is in the process of evolving into one of these "People's States." One of the Looters, he's not particularly intelligent and has a very undistinguished look. He knows politics, however, and is a master of public relations and back-room deals. Rand's notes indicate that she modelled him on President Harry S. Truman.

Wesley Mouch

A member of the Looters and, at the beginning of the storyline, the incompetent lobbyist whom Hank Rearden reluctantly employs in Washington. Initially Wesley Mouch is the least powerful and least significant of the Looters - the other members of this group feel they can look down upon him with impunity. Eventually he becomes the most powerful Looter, and the country's economic dictator, thereby illustrating Rand's belief that a government-run economy places too much power in the hands of incompetent bureaucrats who would never have positions of similar influence in a private sector business. His name, of course, is a pun on the word "mooch," his modus operandi. Wesley Mouch appears in section 131 and is mentioned in section 161.

Minor characters

  • An Airport Attendant at the airport near the Wyatt oil fields tells Dagny Taggart (in section 171) that Hank Rearden had left for New York, revealing his lies. Rearden had told Dagny he was flying to Minnesota.
  • The Bartender works in the most expensive barroom in New York, frequented by James Taggart and the Looters (in section 131).
  • The Board of Directors of Taggart Transcontinental are a group of men mostly loyal to James Taggart. Over the years of Taggart's presidency, many Board members have resigned in protest, leaving only those who think like Taggart. The Board represents the other people whose approval is necessary for people who are incapable of making decisions on their own, most notably Taggart, who treats approval of the Board as a scientific test of truth. In section 132 we learn the Board approved the development of the San Sebastian Line and that numerous Board members quit in protest (mentioned in sections 114, 132, 143 and 145).
  • The Bum opens the book with the question, "Who is John Galt?". He chats for a moment with Eddie Willers helping establish (for the reader) Eddie's sense of unease (in section 111)
  • An unnamed Businessman interrupts a conversation between Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden at the party in section 161. He is taken aback by the contrast between Dagny's appearance that night and the way she normally appears in her business suits. When Dagny notes his reaction she realizes she had hoped Rearden would react that way, that this was her unadmitted purpose in coming to the party.
  • The Chief Engineer phones Eddie Willers to tell him that his boss, Dick McNamara has closed his business and quit without explanation (in section 141).
  • Chief Engineer 2 maintains Taggart Transcontinental at a time when all the competent men have disappeared. Since he can only imitate, and not innovate, he is unenthusiastic about having to work with Rearden Metal. Dagny Taggart tells him to design a new bridge to be built with Rearden Metal, but rejects his design because it is a copy of a steel bridge that does not take into account the properties of the new alloy. He is offended by this because his bridge was a good copy of the bridges he was taught to imitate (appears in section 171).
  • Clarence Eddington is an economic consultant whom James Taggart blames for the decision to build the San Sebastian Line (mentioned in section 143).
  • The Conductor works on the Taggart Comet. In section 112 he explains to Dagny Taggart that he is waiting for a broken light to change. He represents the type of incompetent, initiativeless worker who is concerned only with following the rules so no one can blame him for anything.
  • Dave Mitchum is a state-hired superintendent of the Colorado Division of Taggart Transcontinental. He is partially responsible for Kip Chalmers' death.
  • Dagny's father (who is unnamed) was the president of Taggart Transcontinental prior to James Taggart. In section 132 we learn he was "astonished and proud" of his daughter, but sad for her as well, and apparently not overly supportive of her desire to work for the railroad, though he did nothing to stop her.
  • Dagny's mother is mentioned in section 152. She worried about her daughter's apparent lack of interest in boys, and never understood Dagny's desire to work for the railroad. Because of her lack of understanding, she was never able to give Dagny guidance or support, though she was kind and caring within her limits.
  • Dr. Floyd Ferris One of the Looter crowd who takes credit, along with Wesley Mouch, for Project X though he is considered too stupid to have contributed anything to the project.
  • The Engineer appears briefly in section 112. When Dagny Taggart wakes up to find the Taggart Comet stalled on a siding, he explains to her why they stopped. He represents the type of incompetent, initiativeless worker who is concerned only with following the rules so no one can blame him for anything.
  • The Fireman appears briefly in section 112. While Dagny Taggart is trying to find out why the Taggart Comet has stalled, Fireman shows his amusement at how things like this happen.
  • Francisco's father was the head of d'Anconia Copper before his son. He raised Francisco to be a worthy heir to the mining empire and was very proud to see that he would be. He died when Francisco was 23 (appears in section 152).
  • Gilbert Vail was allegedly cuckolded by Francisco d'Anconia. His wife asserts, and Francisco does not deny, that she and Francisco had an affair over New Years at his villa in the Andes. Gilbert is shot by his wife, but survives, and when he sues for divorce she threatens to spill the details of his sordid private life. Just as the scandal is reaching a crescendo in the tabloids, Francisco arrives in town to "witness the farce." (mentioned in section 141).
  • James Taggart's Secretary has the unhappy job of explaining to Taggart why Francisco d'Anconia will not see him: "Senor d'Anconia said that you bore him, Mr. Taggart."
  • Jock Benson is a friend of Betty Pope, who told her that James Taggart did not really run the railroad; his sister did.
  • Jules Mott is Taggart Transcontinental's man in Mexico City. He is the fall guy after the Mexican government nationalizes the San Sebastian Line (appears in section 142 and is mentioned in section 143).
  • Kip Chalmers is a Washington man who has decided to run for election as Legislator from California. On the way to his campaign, the Taggart Transcontinental engine that was carrying him encountered a split rail. After a chilling show of bureaucracy, a steam engine was attached to his train and attempted to be driven through an eight-mile tunnel. This action, for whom no one could later be blamed, resulted in suffocation of all passengers.
  • Liz Blaine is a friend of Betty Pope.
  • Mr. Ayers is the head of the Ayers Music Publishing Company. In section 114 Dagny Taggart calls him to inquire if Richard Halley has written a fifth concerto.
  • Mr. Coleman is an employee of Taggart Transcontinental mentioned in section 171.
  • Mrs. Beacham is a friend of Rearden's Mother who does charity work for the parish school (mentioned briefly in section 121).
  • Mrs. Gilbert Vail claims she had a love affair with Francisco d'Anconia in his villa in the Andes. Afterwards, she shot her husband so she could leave him and be with Francisco. Gilbert Vail survived and sued for divorce, at which point his wife promised to reveal the sordid details of his private life to the press. In section 152 we learn that Francisco was in El Paso, Texas, not in the Andes, at the time when Mrs. Vail claims to have been with him. Mrs. Vail is mentioned in sections 141 and 152.
  • Mrs. Nathaniel Taggart is mentioned briefly in section 132 and in section 152. According to legend, Nathaniel Taggart put his wife up as collateral for a loan, with her consent. She was a beautiful, dignified southern lady from a good family, from which she was disinherited when she ran off with Taggart, still a poor adventurer at the time. Her name was Dagny, and is Dagny Taggart's namesake.
  • Mrs. Weston is a friend of Lillian Rearden who attends the Rearden's anniversary party. She is mentioned in section 162.
  • Mrs. Whitcomb is a woman who moves in the same circles as Lillian Rearden (mentioned in section 161).
  • Mrs. William Hastings widow of William Hastings. Graying hair, has a poised distinguished look of grooming. Gives Dagny a lead where she discovers Hugh Akston working as a cook in a roadside diner.
  • Nathanial Taggart is meant to symbolize the so-called Robber Barons of America's industrial age. Nat Taggart was the founder of Taggart Transcontinental. He built his railroad without any government handouts, and ran the business for no other reason than to turn a profit. He began as a penniless adventurer and ended up as one of the wealthiest men in the country. Many stories are told about him: that he once killed a state legislator who tried to use his office to destroy the railroad; that he once put his wife up as collateral for a loan. He never earned money by force or fraud, and never apologized for becoming wealthy and successful. He was one of the most hated men of his time (mentioned in sections 132 and 152).
  • Nat Taggart's son built a bridge that is falling to pieces, which will be replaced by the Rearden Metal bridge (mentioned in section 171).
  • An unnamed Newspaperman, seedy and deliberately rude, speaks to Hank Rearden in section 161.
  • Passenger Number 1 on the Taggart Comet in section 112 he tells Dagny Taggart how long the train has been stopped after she wakes up.
  • Passenger Number 2 talks with the Conductor, the Fireman, and the Engineer when Dagny Taggart approaches to find out why the train has stopped. When she acts as if this sort of problem is unusual and shouldn't happen, he tells her she doesn't understand railroads.
  • Passenger Number 3 is an economics professor. As the train passes Rearden Steel in section 121, he focuses on the fact that Hank Rearden has proudly put his name on the company. He scoffs at this, dismissing the individual as unimportant.
  • Passenger Number 4 is a journalist who gazes at the steel mill and focuses on the fact that Hank Rearden has proudly put his name on the company. He decides he will ridicule Rearden in a future column by calling him the sort of man who sticks his name on everything.
  • Pop Harper is chief clerk at the offices of Taggart Transcontinental. He complains that it is impossible to get new typewriters, and that the world will soon be without this simple device. His attitude is that there is nothing to be done and things will just happen as they happen. This attitude explains why, after a lifetime of labor, he is still merely a clerk (appears in section 111).
  • President of ULW is an unnamed president of United Locomotive Works — an incompetent industrialist who considers directness a sign of ill-breeding. When Dagny Taggart tries to find out why his company has failed to deliver an order, he refuses to give an answer, despite talking for hours (mentioned in section 141).
  • Sebastian d'Anconia is an ancestor of Francisco d'Anconia who fled Spain during the time of the Inquisition, settled in Argentina, and founded d'Anconia Copper. His story is told in section section 152.
  • Simons is a member of the Rearden household staff, mentioned in section 162.
  • The Spinster tells Dagny a John Galt Legend in section 161.
  • The Waiter serves drinks to the Looters in section 131.
  • An unnamed worker at Rearden Steel in section 121. He is on hand the night the first order of Rearden Metal is poured, and smiles at Hank Rearden in acknowledgement of his accomplishment. This is the only acknowledgement Rearden receives.
  • Wet Nurse (Tony) - A young bureaucrat sent by the government to watch over Rearden's mills. Though he starts out as a cynical follower of the looters' code, his experience at the mills transforms him, and he comes to respect and admire the producers. He is killed attempting to inform Hank Rearden about a government plot.
  • William Hastings Deceased. The head of the laboratory of Twentieth Century Motor Company. Lived in Brandon Wyoming.