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Tonie Nathan

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Title: Tonie Nathan  
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Subject: United States presidential election, 1972, Libertarian Party (United States), United States presidential election in Virginia, 1972, United States presidential election, 1984, List of candidates for President of the United States who received at least one electoral vote
Collection: 1923 Births, 2014 Deaths, American Feminists, American Radio Producers, American Television Producers, Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease, Female United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, Individualist Feminists, Jewish American Politicians, Jewish Feminists, Libertarian Party (United States) Vice Presidential Nominees, Oregon Libertarians, People from Eugene, Oregon, People from New York City, Politicians from Eugene, Oregon, United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, 1972, United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, 1976, University of Oregon Alumni, Women in Oregon Politics
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Tonie Nathan

Tonie Nathan at the 1993 Libertarian National Convention in Salt Lake City

Theodora Nathalia "Tonie" Nathan (February 9, 1923 – March 20, 2014) was an American political figure. She was the first woman, as well as the first Jewish person, to have received an electoral vote in a United States presidential election. She was the 1972 vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party and running mate of John Hospers, when Roger MacBride, a Republican elector from Virginia, cast the historic vote as a faithless elector.[1]


  • Background 1
  • Political campaigns 2
    • 1972 vice-presidential nomination 2.1
    • 1976 vice-presidential candidacy 2.2
    • Senate and House of Representatives campaigns 2.3
  • Other political activities 3
  • Personal 4
  • Death 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Nathan was born in 1923 to Jewish parents in New York City.[2] Her last name at birth was Nathan, and she married a man, Charles Nathan, who had the same last name.[3]

She operated her own insurance agency, a music publishing firm and a decorating service in the Los Angeles area of California before moving to Eugene, Oregon. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1971.[4] Nathan then worked as a radio and television producer. She produced and occasionally hosted a daily talk show on KVAL-TV (CBS affiliate) in Eugene.[4]

Political campaigns

1972 vice-presidential nomination

At the first presidential nominating convention of the Libertarian Party in 1972, Nathan was nominated by the convention delegates to run for vice president with presidential candidate John Hospers, chairman of the philosophy department at the University of Southern California. While the ticket received only 3,674 official votes out of more than 75 million votes cast,[5] Republican elector Roger MacBride of Virginia chose to vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Nixon and Agnew. As a result, Nathan became the first woman and the first Jewish person in American history to have received an electoral vote in a presidential election.[1][6]

1976 vice-presidential candidacy

Nathan consented to have her name placed into nomination for the Libertarian vice-presidential candidacy in the 1976 presidential election, though she did not actively campaign for the position.[7] She lost that nomination to Jim Lewis.

Senate and House of Representatives campaigns

Following her vice-presidential run, which netted the Libertarian party its first electoral vote ever, she made a series of unsuccessful runs as a Libertarian candidate during the 1970s through the 1990s, for offices including the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. In the 1980 U.S. Senate election, Nathan participated in three statewide television debates with incumbent Bob Packwood and then-State Senator Ted Kulongoski.[8] She received 43,686 votes for 3.83% of the vote.[9] In 1990 Nathan ran as a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Oregon's 4th congressional district. She was the lone challenger to incumbent Congressman Peter DeFazio and received 26,432 votes for 14% of the vote.[10]

Other political activities

Nathan was a founding member and former vice chair of the Libertarian Party,[4][7] as well as a founding member and former president of the Association of Libertarian Feminists.[11] She was a speaker at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, where she also announced Gary Johnson as the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee.[12]


Nathan was married to Charles "Chuck" Nathan, an ASCAP composer who wrote top-ten hit songs in the 1950s. Charles died in 2012.[13] The couple had three sons.[3][4]


Nathan died on March 20, 2014 at the age of 91 from Alzheimer's disease.[3][13]


  1. ^ a b  
  2. ^ Elvin, John (September 28, 2000). "Whatever Happened to ...(Tonie Nathan)".  
  3. ^ a b c "Oregon Libertaian, 1st woman to receive electoral vote, dies at 91".  
  4. ^ a b c d John, Finn (March 27, 2011). "Libertarian from Eugene was first female VP candidate to get Electoral College vote". Offbeat Oregon. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "1972 Presidential General Election Results", Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
  6. ^  
  7. ^ a b "Convention To Receive West Eugene Woman's Name", Eugene Register-Guard. August 22, 1975. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  8. ^ Willis, Henny (October 19, 1980) "Senate debates were valuable", Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  9. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional election of November 4, 1980" (PDF).  
  10. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional election of November 6, 1990" (PDF).  
  11. ^ Burford, Lori (March 14, 1982) "Nathan pushes Libertarian cause" The Bulletin, Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  12. ^ "Nathan, Tonie: C-SPAN Biographical history", C-SPAN Video Library. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Wright, Jeff (March 21, 2014). "Libertarian Tonie Nathan dies".  

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
No one (Party not yet created)
Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate
1972 (3rd)
Succeeded by
David Bergland
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