Study Guide

Atlas Shrugged Characters

By Ayn Rand

John Galt

Seriously, we really want to know who this guy is. We get lots of wacky theories about his...

Dagny Taggart

The novel may be obsessed with the question "Who is John Galt?" but first we need to ask, who is...

Hank Rearden

Han is our co-protagonist, along with the savvy Dagny Taggart, and our main romantic male lead...

Francisco d'Anconia

If John Galt is the shadowy, mysterious figure in the book, Francisco is the mystery man hiding...

James Taggart

We agree with Betty Pope's assessment of James Taggart: she calls him a snail (1.4.2.10). It's...

Eddie Willers

We get Eddie Willers. In a book filled with larger-than-life heroic figures, living legends,...

Robert Stadler

At the beginning of the movie Trainspotting, the main character Renton goes on a rather famous...

Lillian Rearden

Lillian Rearden might be the most boring character in whole book. She really almost seems...

Cherryl Brooks Taggart

Cherryl is probably the most major minor character in the novel. After all, an entire chapter is...

Ragnar Danneskjöld

Ahoy mateys! It's time to discuss everyone's favorite pirate: Ragnar. (He even has an "aargh"...

Hugh Akston

If John Galt is the father of the strike, Hugh Akston is its grandfather. Dr. Akston is a highly...

Ellis Wyatt

Ellis Wyatt is pretty hardcore. He shows the rest of the world what he thinks of them when he...

Jeff Allen

Often simply called "the tramp," Jeff Allen is a man who has fallen on seriously bad times. His...

Mayor Bascom

The Mayor of Rome, Wisconsin, a town approaching Starnesville status, is one of the first people...

Luke Beal

Luke was the fireman aboard the Comet when it entered the tunnel, and he was the only person to...

Orren Boyle

Just as Wesley Mouch epitomizes the villainous politician in the book, Orren Boyle represents the...

Laura Bradford

Laura is Kip Chalmer's mistress and is shown to be a very whiny and obnoxious woman. She and Kip...

Bill Brent

Bill is a long-time Taggart employee, like Pat Logan. Like Pat, Bill also walks off the job when...

Kip Chalmers

Kip is a looter politician who is largely to blame for the disaster. He is on his way to a...

Dan Conway

Poor Dan is the businessman who didn't quite make it. He ran everyone's favorite Old West...

Ken Danagger

We would totally be BFFs with Ken. First off, he has a great last name. Sounds like Danger....

The d'Anconias

We only hear of three d'Anconias in the book: Francisco's father and his two famous ancestors...

Quentin Daniels

Quentin is sort of like the kid brother of the strike. He's like Robin to the strike's League of...

Balph Eubank

Balph probably wins the award for stupidest name in the whole book. At least the Nickname Looters...

Dr. Floyd Ferris

Dr. Ferris is a member, along with Wesley and James, of what we like to call the trio of evil....

Richard Halley

Richard Halley is another of the book's legendary figures. At the beginning of the novel, he is...

Lawrence Hammond

Like Dagny, Hammond was in the transportation business (automobiles) before going on strike....

Pop Harper

Another snapshot, one-off character, Pop Harper has only one scene in the first chapter of the...

Mr. and Mrs. William Hastings

We only hear about William Hastings from other people, since he died before the novel started....

Dr. Hendricks

A famous surgeon who joined the strike early on, Dr. Hendricks cares for Dagny after she is...

Tinky Holloway

Tinky is another of the "nickname era" looters, albeit one who is referred to much more than he...

Lee Hunsacker

Hunsacker was the owner of the dubiously named Amalgamated Services Inc., which took over the...

Gwen Ives

Along with Dagny, Kay, and Cherryl, Gwen is one of the few good women (actually, one of the few...

Gilbert Keith-Worthing

A British intellectual turned expat, Gilbert is an aging elitist who voices communist doctrine...

Owen Kellogg

Owen has the distinction of being the very first striker we meet, although we don't realize it at...

Fred Kinnan

Fred is one of the book's most outspokenly cynical characters. Like Floyd Ferris, he doesn't mind...

Paul Larkin

Though he plays a fairly sizable role at the beginning of the novel, Paul Larkin disappears...

Eugene Lawson

Eugene Lawson might just be the worst banker ever. Eugene is a pro at making bad investments. He...

Mort Liddy

Mort plays a small role at Hank's anniversary party, but it's one that sets off a huge chain...

Clifton Locey

Clifton Locey is a trained seal, according to Eddie Willers (2.7.1.1). We think this is a great...

Pat Logan

Logan is the engineer who wins the drawing to drive the first John Galt Line train on opening...

The Looters

We have a lot of people who fit into this category in the book. Many of them are only featured in...

Kay Ludlow

For the most part, the novel focuses on industrialists and businesspeople. But artists are also a...

Dick McNamara

McNamara has the distinction of being the first person to "disappear," leaving Dagny in a serious...

Cuffy Meigs

And confronting her daily there was the final product of it all, the heir and collector –...

Dave Mitchum

Mitchum is both the tragic hero and chief villain of the Tunnel Disaster. A man who got his job...

Chick Morrison

Chick Morrison arrives on the scene with a couple other minor looters who bear mentioning –...

Wesley Mouch

Wesley Mouch probably has the most appropriate name in the book, since he's basically a moocher....

Mr. Mowen

The owner of a switch and signal company, Mr. Mowen is another of the book's minor, bad...

Midas Mulligan

Midas Mulligan is another one of our legendary, larger-than-life, heroic figures in the book,...

Judge Narragansett

The Judge is directly linked to the Midas Mulligan mystery and mythology, and like many of the...

Ben Nealy

Ben is the contractor Dagny hires to work on the John Galt Line after the guy she wanted,...

The Newsstand Owner

Though Dagny is friendly with the Newsstand Owner, we never learn his name. She considers him a...

Ted Nielsen

Another member of the Colorado crowd, Ted Nielsen is distinctive for being the last holdout to...

Betty Pope

Betty is the woman who is having an affair with James Taggart at the beginning of the novel. In...

Dr. Simon Pritchett

Dr. Pritchett becomes a big player at Patrick Henry University after Dr. Akston leaves, signaling...

Mrs. Rearden

If we were handing out Mother of the Year awards, Mrs. Rearden would not be a finalist. Not even...

Philip Rearden

Hank's younger brother shows us exactly what's wrong with the idea of being your "brother's...

Dwight Sanders

Sanders, like Dagny and Lawrence Hammond, is in the transportation business: airplanes in his...

Joe Scott

Joe is the drunk engineer who agrees to drive the train into the Tunnel after the other engineer...

Bertram Scudder

We have to hand it to Bertram: for someone who isn't a politician or a businessman, he manages to...

Claude Slagenhop

Good old Claude is the president of the Friends of Global Progress, a rather questionable...

The Starnes Family

It's fitting that the dilapidated Starnesville was named for the Starnes family. The town...

Andrew Stockton

Stockton is yet another Colorado industrialist who stands out for the extended scene we get with...

Mr. and Mrs. Taggart

Both are dead before the book begins, and we get the sense that neither of them made all that...

Nathaniel "Nat" Taggart

Dagny worships at the Church of Nat Taggart, and it's a religion with a bizarre messiah:Many...

Mr. Thompson

Mr. Thompson is like Wesley Mouch times five. Like Wesley, Thompson is nondescript and boring. In...

The Trainmaster

This unnamed man is one of the many people complicit in the Tunnel Disaster. We get a very...

Lester Tuck

Even though he is Kip Chalmer's campaign manager, Lester doesn't have much influence over Kip. He...

The Twentieth Century Motor Factory

The Twentieth Century Motor Factory is one of the book's ongoing mysteries and a sort of...

Mr. Ward

Mr. Ward only appears in one scene in the book, but it is an important one. Mr. Ward is one of...

Mr. Clem Weatherby

Mr. Weatherby appears on the scene during the closure of the John Galt Line. He's the "man from...

The Wet Nurse

It's fitting that we only learn the Wet Nurse's name at the moment of his death. In a lot of...

Mark Yonts

Owner of the People's Mortgage Company, this is the man who sold the Factory to Mayor Bascom. The...

The Young Brakeman

We never learn this young man's name, even though he appears at some crucial moments in the...

The Young Mother

This is actually the only good mother we meet in the entire book, standing in dramatic contrast...