Carl Hess: biography, career, personal life


Carl Hess III was born on May 25, 1923 in Washington, D.C. As a child, he moved to the Philippines with his parents. Karl’s father and mother were of German and Spanish descent. When her mother discovered her father’s infidelity, she divorced her wealthy husband and returned with Carl to Washington. Refusing alimony, she took a job as a telephonist herself and raised her son on an extremely modest budget.

The mother encouraged in Karl curiosity and direct learning. She had Carl make up some classes or read. In the end, Karl and his mother began to believe that public education was a waste of time. The boy rarely attended school, and to evade supervision, registered at every elementary school in the city, subsequently gradually abandoning each. Thanks to this, it was impossible for the authorities to know exactly what school Karl was supposed to be studying at. At the same time, Carl was a regular of libraries and everything he read easily into the basis of his personal philosophy.

In his younger years Karl was fond of shooting, fencing and playing tennis, subsequently to these hobbies was added and armoury.

At the outbreak of World War II, Carl Hess enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, but he was discharged in 1942 by the post of how he contracted malaria on the Filipines.

He died on April 22, 1994.


Carl Hess officially quit his studies at 15 when he entered a job as a news reports commentator, working as a news editor in the Mutual Broadcasting System. By the age of 18, Karl had grown up in service and took over as assistant city editor of The Washington Daily News.

He later became editor of Newsweek and The Fisheman. He worked as a staff writer and sometimes freelance for a number of anti-communist periodicals. In the 1950s he worked for the company Chamber Papers and Fiber. Just at this time he began to show concern that people in the management part of the corporate world were more interested in personal career growth than in doing a good job . At Chamion, management encouraged employees to engage in conservative politics for the firm’s benefit. Karl met Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater and other prominent Republicans and discreetly to himself became a convinced Republican.

As a child, Hess was a devout Catholic, but when at 15 he had to work temporarily as a coroner, he made sure people were simply made up of flesh and blood, and there was no afterlife. After that, he stopped attending church and became an atheist. Many years later, he began to attend church again, but only because many of his colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute, in the cat rum he then worked, also attended church. However, attending church meetings only reinforced Karl’s atheism. And when he brought his young son into service, he suddenly got nasty about bringing the child into an institution he himself rejected.

A political career

Hess authored campaign programs for the Republican Party in the 1960 and 1964 elections, worked closely at Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a conservative with significant libertarian beliefs. Hess worked under him as a speechwriter, and studied politics and ideology. It was Hess who authored Goldwater’s slogan: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is not a vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is not a virtue.” It is later revealed, however, that this was just a paraphrased passage from Cicero.

After the 1964 presidential campaign, when Lyndon Johnson defeated Goldwater, Hess became disillusioned with politics and became a radical. Like many other losing Republicans, Hess felt like an outsider and declined to engage in big politics.

In 1965 Karl became a biker. The need to periodically repair the motorcycle led to him graduating from Bell Vocational School with a degree in welding. This profession gave him the opportunity to sell his skills, and a commercial partnership with fellow student Hess Bell, led to the creation of a metal sculpture firm.


the same time, Hess is divorcing his first wife, publicly criticizing big business, American hypocrisy, and the ambitions of the military-industrial complex. He joins Students for a Democratic Society, works with the Black Panther Party, protests the Vietnam War.

In retaliation for the election’s support for the losing candidate, Hess was vetted by the Internal Revenue Service. In response to this scrutiny, Karl pledged in writing to never pay taxes again. The Service responded by arresting all of Hess’s estate and 100% of his earnings. Carl was forced to exist with his wife’s money and exchange his welder skills for barter goods and services.

In 1968, Richard Nixon became President of the United States, and Barry Goldwater was appointed as Arizona’s junior senator. Hess went on to work for Goldwater as a personal speechwriter and communicate with him personally. He convinced Goldwater of the need to abolish conscription in the United States, but Goldwater would not oppose Nixon, and Hess, who greatly hated Nixon, could not come to terms with the thought. Even though Nixon did cancel conscription, Hess quarreled with Goldwater for good.

On the advice of his friend Murray Rothbard, Hess became carried away by the works of American anarchists. And in Emma’s works, Goldman found all the things he hoped for and that he loved so much.

From 1969 to 1971, he served as editor of the Libertarian Forum with his friend Rothbard. At the same time, Hess joins other anarchists: Robert Lefebvre, Dana Rohrabacher, Samuel Edward Conkin III, and Carl Oglesby, former leader of Students for a Democratic Society. Speaking at numerous conferences, Hess participated in the beginnings of the libertarian movement.

In an attempt to unite right and left libertarians, he joins the Industrial Workers of the World party and also returns to Students for a Democratic Society.

In 1971, the Libertarian Party USA is established, and in 1980 Hess joins it. He was editor of its party newspaper from 1986 to 1990.

The Carl Hess film

“Carl Hess: Towards Freedom” is a 1980 short documentary film produced by the United States. The film was shot in the hallways of Boston University and the School of Film Programs and Broadcasting by directors Rolan Hale and Peter Ladue. Several students and faculty acted as actors. It starred Carl Hess himself in the title role.

In 1981, the painting won an Academy Award as Best Short Documentary. The tape also won Boston University’s Maya Dern Preime, Focus Award at the Student Film Festival, AMPAS Student Film Award, Golden Eagle Award, and State Governor’s Award Massachusetts.

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