Frank Bubb died this past November at the age of 65.* I first saw his name in Reason magazine, in the 1970’s as I recall. He had penned a letter to the editor on the legal issue of abortion. It was so on the mark that I remembered his name through the years until we finally met in the ’90’s at summer seminars of David Kelley’s institute. Frank was a founding contributor of that organization, the Institute for Objectivist Studies. He served on its Advisory Board from the outset in 1990, and he was a generous financial supporter of Objectivist Studies, a series of excellent scholarly monographs issued by IOS.
Frank received his A.B. from Washington University in St. Louis, where he majored in economics. He earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He was employed by Scott Paper Company of Philadelphia from 1975 until 1996, during which he rose to be Staff Vice President and Chief Financial Counsel. Subsequently, he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the Sports Authority.
Frank had been involved with Objectivism since his student days at Washington University in St. Louis, where he attended lecture courses given by the Nathaniel Branden Institute. For three years, he wrote a weekly op-ed column with an explicitly Objectivist-libertarian perspective for Student Life, Washington University's independent student newspaper. While at law school, he taught courses on Objectivism at Penn's "free university," with classes ranging in size from twenty to forty-five. For two years, he also wrote a weekly op-ed column for Penn's Daily Voice. During the ’80s, he wrote approximately sixty op-ed articles that were either distributed nationally by the Cato Institute or placed directly with such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Orange County Register. He countered Murray Rothbard’s smear of Objectivism in the pages of Liberty.
At The Objectivist Center's 2000 Advanced Seminar, Frank delivered a paper entitled "Deriving Rights as Interpersonal Moral Constraints." In weeks thereafter, we corresponded on ideas he proposed in that paper. We were of very similar mind in political philosophy. Frank enjoyed Toastmasters and public speaking. He enjoyed reading, traveling, hiking, scuba diving, and tennis. He was a gentle, intelligent, and richly knowledgeable man.
Frank attended summer seminars of the Center many times. I spot photos of him in the booklets announcing those seminars. He is not identified in those photos, but if you still have some of those booklets, he can be seen here:
2001 – page 8 (left in photo) and page 9 (below left hand of WT at mic)
2002 – page 3 (left in lower photo)
2003 – page 4 (light shirt)
2004 – page 14 (upper left photo, solid dark shirt)
2006 – page 11 (left in left photo)