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Alvin Townley

Adventurer, Author, and Eagle Scout

Travels From




Best-selling author Alvin Townley risked everything on a dream when he embarked on a odyssey to discover stories of leadership, service, and adventure with a higher purpose. His travels have taken him around the world and led to his nationally-acclaimed books, Legacy of Honor, Spirit of Adventure, and Fly Navy.

Alvin’s adventure truly began when he quit his job and sold his house to travel the country and write his first book. His pursuit of inspiration has since taken him to the halls of Congress, deep into Africa, into the skies over the Arabian Sea, through Pacific coral reefs, to Rocky Mountain peaks, into corporate board rooms, and onto five aircraft carriers in three oceans.

Townley has spent three years traveling throughout the country and around the world to explore the legacy of Scouting.  In an adventure spanning thousands of miles, he has met with adventurers and leaders from every field, all Eagle Scouts. In 2007, St. Martin’s Press released his widely-acclaimed first book, Legacy of Honor.

To write Legacy of Honor, Alvin sold his home and left his job to travel the country and discover the legacy of America’s Eagle Scouts. Among those he met were Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, J.W. Marriott, Jr., and Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. He also met a Tuskegee Airman, a POW from Vietnam, a September 11 NYPD hero, a crew of Hurricane Katrina relief workers, Navy SEALs, Olympians and a host of others.

About Legacy of Honor, President Jimmy Carter said, “These Eagle Scouts will inspire readers to become leaders in serving others.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the book “inspirational.”

Since the book’s publication, Alvin has traveled coast-to-coast speaking to thousands about Scouting, character, and leadership.  In researching his second book, Spirit of Adventure, he circled the world, diving in Australia, surfing in Hawaii, rock climbing in Nevada, working with Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, and cruising aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

An Eagle Scout himself, Alvin graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, served on the executive staff of an 85,000-person international consulting firm, and coached high school track and field. His presentations have inspired thousands of people in more than seventy cities across North America.He lives in his hometown of Atlanta.

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Fly Navy
Discovering the Extraordinary People and Enduring Spirit of Naval Aviation
Thomas Dunne Books

Top Gun was only part of the story. Fly Navy delves beyond the Hollywood image to reveal the true mettle and genuine story of the elite men and women of naval...
Spirit of Adventure
Eagle Scouts and the Making of America's Future
Thomas Dunne Books

An extraordinary journey alongside America’s new generation of Eagle Scouts, who are discovering their purpose and bringing the values of Scouting to the...
Trade Paperback
Legacy of Honor
The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books

Over the past century, America's Eagle Scouts have earned a reputation for service, virtue, and leadership that is recognized throughout the world. But few...
Defiant The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned
Thomas Dunne Books

A powerful story of survival and triumph, Alvin Townley's Defiant will inspire anyone wondering how courage, faith, and brotherhood can endure even in the darkest of situations.


The Value of Scouting: Alvin's exploration of the value of scouting: changing the world, one person at a time.

Character-based Leadership: Alvin discusses how strong values lead to strong returns.

Honor and Adventure: A discussion of the art of living with passion and purpose.



  • Alvin Townley at Good Scout Luncheon

  • Alvin Townley – Naval Air Station Pensacola

  • Navy TailhookConvention (panel)

  • National Naval Aviation Museum



“The panel that you organized and moderated consisting of four POWs was especially moving and meaningful. The fact that the Medal of Honor recipients are requesting more information about the POWs gives some insight into how powerful their stories were.…The presentation you made just prior to the panel on your new book, Defiant, was a perfect introduction. Your presentation by itself was incredibly well received by the audience. Together they were the highlight of a very special event…You have a gift both with your writing and with your close personal relationship with these heroes who endured so much as POWs. They clearly have bonded with you because of your ability to tell their story.”
–General Carmen Cavezza, Chairman, National Infantry Museum


“In a Capitol Hill banquet room full of Members of Congress and special guests, Alvin Townley shined. He made the audience laugh then held their breathless attention as he delivered a powerful message about our Vietnam POWs, their inspiring example, and the character of our veterans and our great nation.”
–Congressman Pete Sessions


“The Rotary Club of Atlanta, 500+ membership comprised of Atlanta’s business and community leaders, typically has speakers comprised of nationally known CEO’s, members of Congress and internationally-prominent individuals. Recently, we had the pleasure of hearing Alvin Townley. The program hedelivered,along with former POW Admiral Bob Shumaker, was among the best rated programs we’ve had, scoring 97 out of 100. Alvin is a gifted storyteller and speaker andIrecommend himwithout reservation to anyaudience interested a compelling story of how courage, devotion, and faith can triumph even in the darkest of times.”
–Robert Balentine, President, Atlanta Rotary Club and CEO of Balentine LLC


“Alvin Townley’spresentation to University of Virginia Darden School students brought life to a little-known story, which provides a meaningful real-life of example of the triumph of leadership, teamwork, and perseverance over seemingly hopeless circumstances. Both he and his lecture connected with the audience and the Darden School is sincerely grateful for his visit and discussion of “Defiant Leadership.” We look forward to his return!”
–John MacFarlane, Trustee, UVA Darden School of Business Foundation


“A rapt audience, including the first 4-star female general and a former Army Chief of Staff were “all ears” as Alvin Townley recounted vivid stories from Defiant. The material and the delivery made a powerful combination, and the level of questioning showed quality audience involvement in the evening’s presentation.”
–Jim Ferman, Chairman, Ferman Automotive Group


“Alvin Townley gave a fantastic presentation of the American POW experience in North Vietnam as it is detailed in his book entitled, Defiant.It was an engaging, intensely interesting hour that captured the audience with accounts of individual heroism and the triumph of the human spirit over extreme adversity.He has written a great book and he gives a wonderful uplifting presentation that everyone should see.”
–General Duane Thiessen, CEO, National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation

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