Larry Harvey

Larry Harvey (January 11, 1948 – April 28, 2018) was an American artist, philanthropist and activist. He was the main co-founder of the Burning Man event, along with his friend Jerry James.[1]

Larry Harvey
Larry Harvey wdydwyd.jpg
Born(1948-01-11)January 11, 1948
DiedApril 28, 2018(2018-04-28) (aged 70)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
OccupationArtist, philanthropist, activist
Years active1986–2018
Known forCo-founding Burning Man

Burning ManEdit

Burning Man started in 1986 on the evening of the summer solstice. An effigy of a man was taken to San Francisco's Baker Beach and set on fire. A small crowd gathered and soon the burning of the man became an annual event. Over the next four years the attendees grew to more than 800 people. In 1990, in collaboration with the SF Cacophony Society, the event moved to the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, and took place over [Labor Day] weekend. From a three-day, 80-person "zone trip," Burning Man became an eight-day counter culture event with 70,000 participants from all over the world.

In 1997, six of the main organizers formed Black Rock City LLC to manage the event, with Harvey as the executive director, a position he held until his death. Harvey was also the president of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, a non-profit art grant foundation for promoting interactive collaborative public art installations in communities outside of Black Rock City.

Philosophy and activitiesEdit

Larry Harvey was a voracious reader and was heavily influenced by works such as Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam, The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, and the writings of Sigmund Freud.[citation needed]

He scripted and co-chaired/curated the Burning Man art department and its annual event theme. Harvey was the main spokesperson and political strategist for the Burning Man organization. He had been featured in such engagements as San Francisco's Grace Cathedral "Radical Ritual" with Alan Jones, the Oxford Student Union, [Cooper Union] in New York City, Harvard's International Conference on Internet and Society as a panelist, the Walker Art Center in Minnesota and the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, as well as many others.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Harvey grew up in the Parkrose area, of Oregon, just east of Portland, Oregon.[2] Harvey graduated from Parkrose High School in 1966.[3] Harvey died on April 28, 2018 due to complications related to a stroke he had suffered earlier in the same month.[4][5] He was 70 years old.


  1. ^ Jacques, Adam (23 August 2014). "Larry Harvey: The founder of the Burning Man event on adoption, uncontrollable rage - and how Freud became a father figure". The Independent.
  2. ^ "My Brother Larry". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Parkrose High (PHS) Class of 1966 Alumni List". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Burning Man founder Larry Harvey in critical condition after massive stroke". San Francisco Gate. April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies after massive stroke". USA TODAY. Retrieved 28 April 2018.

External linksEdit