Alvin Townley
Adventurer, Author, and Eagle Scout

Best-selling author Alvin Townley risked everything on a dream when he embarked on a personal odyssey to discover stories of purpose, personal triumph, and adventure. His travels have taken him around the world – from 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.


St. Martin’s Press released his acclaimed books on Eagle Scouts, Legacy of Honor and Spirit of Adventure in 2007 and 2009. FLY NAVY followed in 2011, marking naval aviation’s centennial.  Readers have purchased more than 100,000 copies of his books and his anticipated fourth book – Defiant – arrived in 2014 to acclaim from The New York Times, John McCain, Jimmy Carter and many others.


Alvin has discussed life and leadership with leaders like Michael Bloomberg, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Hank Paulson, Ross Perot, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Bill Gates, Sr., Jim Lovell of Apollo 13, a host of naval aviators and respected admirals, POWs from Vietnam, Peace Corps volunteers, Olympic athletes, young entrepreneurs, seasoned CEOs, Navy SEALs, and decorated veterans.


Alvin graduated from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, helped manage global strategy for an 85,000-person international consulting firm, and coached track and field. To write his first book, he sold his house and quit his job and began an odyssey that continues today as he tells America’s great stories.  He lives in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and has shared his message of inspiration, adventure, leadership, and purpose with audiences across North America.

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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.

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...

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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...

Honoring Veterans At a recent tribute to veteran, Alvin had more than 200 people on their feet, applauding for more than 60 seconds, welcoming home the veterans in the audience – none of whom had dry eyes when the ovation ended. Alvin uses his youth and the powerful story in Defiant to honor and welcome home all our military servicemen and women.
Defiant Leadership Dynamic organizations and people often defy trends, and to be successful, they need to lead during difficult times, relying on the clarity of their vision, their ability to communicate it, and their ability to inspire great teams to concerted action.
Being Defiant We all face challenges in life, faith, sports, missions, or business – and we often must defy taking the easy road. We must make tough choices and stand by them, knowing we will triumph in the end. The story of America’s POWs illustrates this like few other examples and nobody tells that story like Alvin Townley.
The Value of Scouting The nation’s foremost speaker on Scouting, Alvin has keynoted fundraising events that have raised millions of dollars for Boy Scout councils nationwide. His new book, Defiant, features two Eagle Scouts, enabling him to weave together two incredibly moving stories: Scouting and POWs.
Living Your Adventure A world traveler and veteran of expeditions to Africa, Pacific coral reefs, Cascades peaks, and Caribbean seas, Alvin understands the idea of adventure outdoors. But as an entrepreneur-author who left a corporate job to pursue a new mission, he speaks to the broader idea of adventure – following your dreams and living your passions.

"Your presentation by itself was incredibly well received by the audience. Together they were the highlight of a very special event.”
--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 program he delivered,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 and I recommend him without reservation to any audience 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

“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

“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