Nathanial "Nat" Taggart
Nathaniel "Nat" Taggart (Atlas Shrugged), honored founder of Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, is essential if sketchy backstory to the novel. He is the archetypal heroic man who triumphs in his own lifetime. The key to understanding this exceptional man is the legend of his having murdered a U.S. Senator who stood in the way of the construction of his rail line.
The justification offered is a lot like that of Raskolnikov (Crime and Punishment), who murdered the old pawn broker lady, because, (so it seemed to him at the time) she was an obstacle blocking the fulfillment of his destiny.
“Nat Taggart was indicted for the murder, but the charge could never be proved. He had no trouble with legislators from then on.”
No man would stand between Nat Taggart and his bridge
Dr. Stadler leaped to stop him– but Meigs shoved him aside with one arm, gave a gulp of laughter at the sight of Stadler falling to the floor, and, with the other arm, yanked the level of the Xylophone…
“Dagny regretted at times that Nat Taggart was her ancestor. What she felt for him did not belong in the category of unchosen family affections. She did not want her feeling to be the thing one was supposed to owe an uncle of grandfather. She was incapable of love for any object not of her own choice and she resented anyone's demand for it. Bet had it been possible to choose an ancestor, she would have chosen Nat Taggart, in voluntary homage and with all of her gratitude”