About Alvin

Telling stories of purpose and triumph that truly inspire America

Best-selling New York Times reviewed author Alvin Townley risked everything on a dream when he embarked on a personal odyssey to discover stories of leadership, purpose, and adventure. His travels have taken him around the world - from Wall Street and the halls of Congress to the infamous Hanoi Hilton; from African villages to Australia's Great Barrier Reef; and from Rocky Mountain peaks to five aircraft carriers in three oceans. On these trips, he has uncovered inspiring stories of human spirit.

Those travels led to his nationally-acclaimed books Legacy of Honor, Spirit of Adventure, Fly Navy, and Defiant, all published by St. Martin's Press, New York. Shining reviews have come from The New York Times, Peyton Manning, Jimmy Carter, Tom Wolfe, and many others. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates authored a foreword for Legacy of Honor.

Alvin has discussed life and leadership with leaders like Michael Bloomberg, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Truett Cathy, Ross Perot, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Bill Gates, Sr., Jim Lovell of Apollo 13Unbroken's Louie Zamperini, Navy SEALs, respected admirals, POWs from Vietnam, Peace Corps volunteers, Olympic athletes, young entrepreneurs, seasoned CEOs, and members of Congress.  

He has shared their stories with clients including The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Cushman & Wakefield, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Texas Congressional Delegation. He has appeared on or in FOX, CNN, NPR, and USA TODAY, and was part of the EMMY Award-winning team behind the film Jeremiah.

Alvin currently serves as The Home Depot Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Veterans Programs for Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center, the nation’s third largest, and manages relationships with Delta Air Lines, Wells Fargo, The Home Depot, EY, Lockheed, Porsche, and other major partners.

Alvin has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives; as a leadership consultant and track coach at a top independent school; as a national fundraiser for his college alma mater; and in the CEO’s office of an 85,000-person global consulting firm where he helped manage worldwide strategy, all servicelines, marketing, and business development.

An Eagle Scout and Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow, Alvin has completed high adventure treks in the Florida Keys, Rocky Mountains, and Canada’s Quetico Wilderness. He studied European economic and political unification in Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, and London, and graduated cum laude from Washington & Lee University.

He speaks often about subjects he holds dear, including veterans, character, perseverance, and citizenship. He has spoken with youth and adults in nearly every state and traveled around the world three times, and now enjoys spending more time with his family and wife Suzanne in their hometown of Atlanta.


Legacy of Honor with new foreword by Robert M. Gates (2016). The anniversary edition of Alvin's first book celebrates ten years of inspiring thousands of Americans with the legacy of Scouting and stories of extraordinary Eagle Scouts.  

Defiant (2014) Alvin's fourth book has captured readers of every stripe. It reveals the amazing and untold true story of eleven American POWs the North Vietnamese identified as their most uncooperative and subversive captives. The book also tells the story of the wives who fought for their husbands' safe return when it seemed nobody else would. This epic story - which takes place over eight years - has inspired praise from all corners of America and deeply affects everyone who reads it.

Fly Navy (2011) explores the extraordinary people and enduring spirit of naval aviation, defining the deeply-held virtues that have marked aviators and their supporting cast during naval aviation's first 100 years.  His round-the-world journey took him to five aircraft carriers in three oceans and to most major bases in the United States.  He met present-day Blue Angels, young crew chiefs, and admirals, along with POWs and heroes from conflicts past.  FLY NAVY lends an important new perspective to one of America's greatest traditions.   Learn More >

Spirit of Adventure (2009) introduces America to a new generation of leaders - young Eagle Scouts who are leading lives of purpose and adventure.  NFL MVP Peyton Manning commented, "Alvin Townley showcases the spirit of our young generation...Spirit of Adventure tells a compelling story about America's future." Learn More >

Legacy of Honor (2007 and 2016), his first book, explores how Scouting has influenced American life.  About the book, President Jimmy Carter said, "These Eagle Scouts will inspire readers to become leaders in serving others." Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Legacy of Honor "inspirational." Learn More >



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© 2016 Alvin Townley