Earl Ravenal

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Earl Cedric Ravenal
Personal Details
Birth: 29 March 1931
New York
Death: 31 August 2019
Education: Harvard University; graduate studies at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration Middle Management Program
Occupation: Professor, Business Owner, Speaker, Analyst
Party: Libertarian Party
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Earl Ravenal (March 29, 1931 - August 31, 2019) was a candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination at the Libertarian Party's 1983 Presidential Nominating Convention,[1] [2] ultimately finishing second to the party's eventual nominee, David Bergland.[3][4][5]

He was a speaker at the 1976 national convention and in 1977 served as the LP's unofficial shadow secretary of state[6].

Early Life and Education

Ravenal was born in New York on March 29, 1931 to the late Alan and Mildred Ravenal. Raised in Providence, RI, he graduated as valedictorian from Hope High School in 1948. He attended Harvard University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1952, and received a Henry Fellowship to Cambridge University in England. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration Middle Management Program. Ravenal earned his MA and PhD from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where he taught before his appointment to Georgetown.


Ravenal was a foreign policy analyst, academic, and writer, also a distinguished senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and professor emeritus of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service for 23 years. Ravenal taught for a time at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, prior to his appointment to teach at Georgetown; lectured internationally, and authored twelve books and over 200 articles and papers for The New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and others.

Ravenal served the Office of United States Secretary of Defense from 1967 to 1969, under Secretaries of Defense Robert McNamara and Clark Clifford. In that agency, he was the Director of the Asian Division, Systems Analysis, where he brought a business perspective informed by his years as President of a family corporation, Elbe File & Binder Co., in Fall River, Mass. [7][8]

Personal Life

Ravenal was married to Carol Bird Myers Ravenal, and had three children Cornelia, John, and Rebecca, and one brother, Richard Ravenal. Ravenal was an inventive chef who found inspiration from his international travels, and had enjoyed poetry including Pound and Elliot. His other favorite hobbies were sailing and skiing. He possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of Western classical music, developed through years of playing violin, including with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.

Published Works

  • Never again: Learning from America's foreign policy failures, Temple University Press, 1977, ISBN 978-0-87722-187-6
  • NATO: The Tides of Discontent, University of California, 1985, ISBN 978-0-87725-523-9
  • Designing Defense for a New World Order: The Military Budget in 1992 and Beyond, Cato Institute, 1991, ISBN 978-0-932790-86-6
  • Foreign Policy in Uncontrollable World, Cato Institute, 1992, ISBN 978-0-932790-41-5
  • Peace with China?: U. S. Decisions for Asia, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1996, ISBN 978-0-87140-257-8


  1. Doherty, Brian
  2. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement |date=2007|publisher= PublicAffairs|isbn=978-1-58648-572-6 |pages= 420–421|chapter= Libertarian Zionism, The Koch Bubble, And America's Third Largest Political Party
  3. (1983-09-05) "Libertarians select presidential ticket", Anchorage Daily News, Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  4. Raimondo, Justin
  5. Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (2nd Edition) |publisher= PublicAffairs|isbn=978-1-933859-60-6 |page= 258
  6. Against the Wall, volume 5 number 10
  7. "So Mr. Carter, Want To Change America? Here's How?: (The Military)", Mother Jones. April 1977, p. 32 Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  8. Ravenal, Earl C. (1983-04)"No first use: a view from the United States" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.April 1983, p. 12. Retrieved 2010-11-23.

External Links