Roger Lea MacBride was an early Libertarian celebrity. In 1972, he was a presidential elector for the Republican Party, but cast his electoral vote for the Libertarian Party candidates rather than Richard Nixon. He went on to be the 1976 Libertarian presidential nominee and helped make the Libertarian Party the nation's third largest political party. Later in life he returned to the Republican Party and chaired the Republican Liberty Caucus.
MacBride was an avid reader. Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, introduced him to libertarian ideas. Lane and MacBride became close friends; he called her "Grandma" and produced the television series based on Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books. Lane left him her estate.
MacBride was elected to the Vermont state legislature as a Republican. He became a Republican presidential elector for the 1972 election, and refusing to cast his vote for Richard Nixon, instead voted for Libertarian Party candidates John Hospers and Theodora Nathan. The Libertarian Party nominated MacBride for President at their 1975 convention. MacBride's vigorous campaigning helped propel the Libertarians to becoming the nation's third-largest political party.
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