About Alvin

Telling stories of purpose and triumph that truly inspire America

Best-selling New York Times-reviewed author Alvin Townley has traveled the world to discover inspiring stories of leadership, adventure, purpose, and personal triumph. He has trekked into South Sudan, dived on the Great Barrier Reef, visited the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and landed on three aircraft carriers in three oceans. He has discussed life and leadership with such leaders as Michael Bloomberg, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Unbroken's Louie Zamperini, Apollo 13's Jim Lovell, Navy SEALs, Peace Corps volunteers, and compelling individuals from all backgrounds and generations.

St. Martin's Press, New York, has published his four nationally-acclaimed books: Legacy of Honor, Spirit of Adventure, Fly Navy, and Defiant. Glowing reviews have come from The New York Times, Peyton Manning, Michael Bloomberg, President Jimmy Carter, Secretary Robert Gates, Senator John McCain, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Tom Wolfe, and many others. In 2015, he received the Georgia Author of the Year Award.

Alvin has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives; managed global strategy for an 85,000-person, $10B international firm; appeared on CNN, FOX, and NPR; was part of the EMMY Award-winning team behind the documentary film Jeremiah; and has been invited to speak in the U.S. Capitol and at The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, the U.S. Air Force, Military, and Naval Academies, and many other venues.

An Eagle Scout, NCAA athlete, and graduate of Washington & Lee University, he serves as The Home Depot Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Veterans Programs at Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center, the nation's third largest. 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. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Suzanne, who teaches at the Global Village Project, an extraordinary school for refugee girls.


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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