Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey Dies At 70 With Lasting Legacy

Harvey died on April 28 in his home after suffering from a stroke on April 4. He leaves a lasting legacy as one of the more influential event creators in decades.
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Larry Harvey 1998

Larry Harvey

Burning Man founder Larry Harvey died over the weekend on April 28 in his San Francisco home. He was 70.

Harvey suffered a massive stroke on the morning of April 4 and was not able to fully recover. He leaves a legacy as someone who created one of the more unique and beloved event brands in the entire world, launching a whole movement along with it.

Larry Harvey was born in 1948 and grew up on a farm outside of Portland. After brief encounters with the US Army and Portland State University, he moved to San Francisco in 1969. He ran in intellectual circles and made his living in carpentry and landscaping. One of the people he worked with Jerry James, would become his partner on the first Burning Man in 1986.

In 1990, San Francisco shut down the burn on Baker’s Beach, so after teaming up with the San Francisco Cacophony Society, they helped move it to its current location in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. He continued to stay involved with Burning Man into his older age, staying on the board and fighting to keep the event on year after year. He helped transition the event from a private ownership to a nonprofit, public benefit corporation to keep its legacy going for decades to come. 

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