While I couldn’t find anything written by Barry Hess about his Libertarian Presidential campaign (and in all honesty, I didn’t know he was running until I read it in one of Stephen Gordon’s articles here on LFV) I did find this autobiography, apparently written when he was running for a governorship.
Barry Hess Biography
I graduated from Fordham University in New York City in 1978 and then spent a little time in Law School. It didn’t take too long for me to figure out that I really didn’t want to be a lawyer, I wanted to travel and see the world, and so I did.
I am sincerely grateful that a solid work ethic and the pursuit of excellence (not perfection) had been instilled in me by the examples I saw in my own family. I can’t say we were poor, because my family’s fortunes seemed to settle more to either extreme of being broke, or flush. I got to see both sides and the middle of the economic spectrum in detail. I know how the ‘other half’ lives.
I loved summers for as long as I can remember, its arrival meant that I could get out of Florida and go up North to Ohio to work
and play on my grandparent’s farm.
The first job I had that I actually got paid for, was when I was twelve years old. What started as a modest newspaper delivery route soon became the second-largest in the city of Springfield, Ohio. I just kept using my own earnings to buy out the other paper boys, and when we finally moved up to New Hampshire a couple of years later, I was able to sell my business for a handsome profit. I was hooked on self-reliance from that point on.
My Mom died after an extended and hard-fought bout with cancer. She was 48, I was a high school freshman of 14, and the loss exposed a profound realization of just how precious, fleeting and fragile our time here really is.
As I grew up I did the usual things like pumping gas, washing dishes and mowing lawns. One of the best jobs I had was as the host of my own radio program when I was a sophomore in high school. I had become entirely self-sufficient. If I couldn’t find a job I liked, I’d invent one. Pulling my own weight gave me dignity and self-respect. From my fourteenth birthday I felt the pangs of pride and from that time on I would refuse to accept even a single dime that I did not earn—from anyone.
In high school, I continued to involve myself in theatre and sports like skiing, track, football and baseball, as well as school politics where I served as class president and student representative. I didn’t graduate high school, in fact after 2 ½ years of it, I had had enough. I was bored, so I went to college at the University of New Hampshire, at Plymouth. My freshman year I was voted class president and played sports like soccer, skiing and lacrosse. My sophomore year through graduation was spent at Fordham University in the Bronx of New York City. In order to pay my own way, I scrubbed the school’s toilets, (calling myself “Commander Commodee”) and managed the campus center at night that gave me time to study. I started a travel business to provide low cost student vacations to Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break.
In the summers, I worked interstate bridge construction as a laborer. For fun, it was the school’s theatre troupe, soccer, sky-diving and rugby that kept me busy.
After graduating in May of 1978 with a B.A. in English and indepth credits in History, Political Science and Philosophy, I moved into Manhattan and took a job as a legal hearing representative for fraud investigations for a major national insurance company. It wasn’t long before I was offered a promotion and a transfer to San Diego. My cross-country trek was interrupted with a visit to my sister, right here in Phoenix. I never made it to San Diego, it just felt ‘right’ to stay.
Today, I’m learning to invest as a currency speculator in the foreign exchange market.
Arizona is where I really grew up. I’ve tried a lot of things here, and a lot of different businesses, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, just like people do. But you’ll not find an honest man who can say that I have ever cheated or stolen from them, even though I have managed to embarrass myself more times than I care to recount. (more…)