David H. Padden

David H. Padden (Deceased)


  • MBA, Harvard. [1]


David H. Padden was the founder of the Heartland Institute, a founding director of the Cato Institute, and played a prominent role in a number of other libertarian think tanks. Padden also started the small municipal bond firm Padden and Co. in the early 1960s.

David H. Padden passed away in October, 2011, at the age of 84. [2]

Stance on Climate Change

The Heartland Institute, which Padden helped found, has said that global warming is not a crisis.

Key Quotes

With reference to Charles Koch, Padden has said:

“I would never attempt to second-guess whatever he’s doing in the interest of making this a free country. He has a strategy that probably we are unaware of. He’s so smart and so successful that I’m just going to await the outcome.” [3]

Key Deeds

According to his profile at the Heartland Institute, David H. Padden has provided financial assistance as well as his leadership to numerous libertarian organizations, many of which have been involved in disputing the existence of man-made climate change.

These organizations include the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Acton Institute, Bionomics Institute, Center for Libertarian Studies, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Council for a Competitive Economy, FreedomWorks, Free To Choose Media, Foundation for Economic Education, the Libertarian Party, and Loop Libertarian League.


Helped found the Heartland Institute and Served as Chairman of the Board from 1984 to 1994, at which time he became director and chairman emeritus. 


Padden helped found the Cato Institute, and served as one of the Original Board Members. He was still listed as a Board Member in 2002.

Ed Crane, Cato’s co-founder and president, described Padden as “the conscience of the Cato Institute.” [1]



According to Google Scholar, David H. Padden has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on any subject.


  1. David Boaz. “David H. Padden, R.I.P.,” CATO @ Liberty,  October 4, 2011.
  2. David H. Padden, 1927-2011,” Chicago Tribune, October 6, 2011.
  3. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. Brian Doherty, February 12, 2007. P. 603.
  4. Policy Documents: Padden, Mr. David H.”, The Heartland Institute, August 28, 2002.
  5. “Heartland Experts: David H. Padden,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed April, 2012.
  6. “Board of Directors,” Citizens for a Sound Economy. Archived January 11, 2002.
  7. Form 990 for Freedomworks, Inc. for 2004 (PDF). Accessed January 21, 2017.

Other Resources

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