During her lifetime, it was always "Ayn Rand" or "Miss Rand," as far as I know, although there may have been a few who were sufficiently close friends with Ayn Rand to be on a first-name basis with her. After her death, it's nearly always "Ayn Rand" or sometimes simply "Rand" (following a common practice in academic writing), never just "Ayn" unless the speaker is claiming to have had some kind of close and supportive personal relationship with her during her lifetime.
answered Apr 10 '13 at 15:32
Ideas for Life ♦
I'm sure her friends called her by her first name when socializing with her -- Leonard Peikoff certainly did. (In his article "My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand" he tells an amusing story about how this started, with him telling her "You're my heroine" and being misheard as "You're my hero, Ayn.")
These days, of course, she's dead, so the socializing-with-friends context is no longer applicable to her. It's likely that those who did know her personally still refer to her that way when when reminiscing about her. (This is probably also seen in published personal reflections like those in 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand or Facets of Ayn Rand.)
I never knew Ayn Rand personally, so when I refer to her I don't use her first name alone because it would imply a level of familiarity that doesn't apply. In this respect she's no different from any other public figure. People don't generally go around referring to Robert Nozick as "Robert" or John Rawls as "John".
answered Apr 10 '13 at 16:26
Kyle Haight ♦