Brian Wright (Right) at the Oakland County Libertarian's Christmas Party in 2017. Others: Kevin Kangas (Left), Matt Karshis (Center) and hostess Diane Szabla (Back turned). Photo by Claranna Gelineau

Brian Richard Wright (Founding Libertarian) Dead at 73

By Scotty Boman, Editor

Michigan – On February 1st, the liberty movement lost a devoted writer, activist, philosopher and leader. Brian R. Wright

Brian Wright
Brian Wright

succumbed to Kidney disease; a disease had previously claimed his mother. Also his brother and father had passed away in their early 50’s. He is survived by his former wife, and long-time friend Rose Wright. He is also survived by his close friends Randy and Diane Szabla along with many others.

Brian was a creative writer who authored dozens of books on philosophy and alternative political thought. He spent several years as a Webmaster and Newsletter Editor with the Libertarian Party of Michigan. Long-time member Jerry Bloom commented, “He was a good guy and will be missed” He has been a liberty activist most of his life and was a founding member of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. He is the author of several books. While his deteriorating health took a toll on his intrepid commentary, his blog and website are still up for now:

Brian Wright’s Early Life

Born in Kalamazoo Michigan in 1949, he grew up near Kansas City, and later his family moved to Oklahoma City. He discovered seminal libertarian writings, in a bookmobile, which inspired him to join Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign. Around 1968 he moved to Detroit and earned his BSME from Wayne State University around 1971, at which point he became a passionate voice for Ayn Rand’s artistic vision of heroic individualism.

Brian Helping to Build a New Party

Brian was a founding member of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. As part of the “The Libertarian Party of Michigan Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Project,” he wrote about his involvement in 1971, when the Libertarian Party was formed. There were a couple different gatherings that year.  The most frequently referenced event was a party, that Summer, in Taylor Michigan at the home of Katherine Augustine and Pete McAlpine. Brian was there, and he was also at Oak Park the home of Sam Harris. Randy Szabla recalls seeing him there along with Johnny and Diane Garner. He recalls that, “there were very few people at the Oak Park meeting where people were excited about starting the party.”
Katherine Augustine described him as a

… lifelong advocate for freedom–political, economic and personal.  Supporter of like-minded persons ( both in and outside the party).  Searching for answers to liberate everyone from the elite, and power control freaks.  A tireless writer and communicator.

His friend and former wife Rose Wright noted,

I mourn and will miss him forever.  (Besides my father)  Brian was the most honest man I’ve ever known, passionately dedicated to the cause of liberty above all else.

Early and Recent Newsletter Editor

He was the editor of the Michigan Libertarian from 1979 through 1981. Then he became state Chair from 1982 to 1984. Brian stepped up to be editor of the newsletter, again, in 2009 where he and out-going editor, Greg

Brian R. Wright
Brian R. Wright

Stempfle, over-saw and facilitated the transition from a hard-copy to virtual Newsletter format. This work also ended the need for the separate publication of LPMOnline, which was created by the late Greg Dirasian. Brian continued producing, and often writing for, the virtual version of the Michigan Libertarian through 2013, when he stepped down from that roll.

Long-time Webmaster

Since 2004, Brian looked at other options for achieving liberty in our time, including participation in the Free State Project. In 2008 he returned to Michigan and stepped up to the task of further developing a new website.

Brian served as Webmaster before and during his service as Newsletter Editor.  After the departure of Greg Dirasian, who had designed the earlier website, the Party needed to develop an all new website in 2007.  Brian served as Webmaster for the Sharepoint based website, then in 2013 he and Scotty Boman transferred all of the legacy content into a WordPress site.  This was the last time such a large migration of content was initiated; the site created in 2013 now serves as the platform of the Libertarian Party of Michigan Historical Archives.

Political Campaigns

Brian ran for office at least 8 times under the Libertarian banner. In 1982 and 1986 he ran for Secretary of State. In 1980 and 1982 he was a United States House of Representatives candidate. He ran to serve in the Michigan House in 1984.

In 1994 and 2014 he was a candidate for the Board of governors at his Alma Mater, Wayne State University. Then he ran, again, to represent District 38 in the State House in 2018.

Planning for Life After Life

Brian made plans for the end of his life.  At one time he was a member of the Cryonics Institute, however he later decided to live on through others. He wanted for himself the same arrangement he made a decade earlier for his mom at Farmington Hills Generations, where following cremation he instead opted to hold a later private memorial service for her.

Rose Wright said,

In terms of an ‘afterlife’ he always admired his dad for donating his body to the Michigan State University  Medical School. So he too offered whatever organs might benefit future users, in his case The Gift of Life asked only for his eyes.  He’d have loved the symbolism. More sentimentally, he got surprising comfort from my oft repeated metaphor “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Those who wish to honor Brian can donate to Gift of Life here:

Scroll to Top