Alvin Straight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Alvin Boone Straight (October 17, 1920 – November 9, 1996) was a resident of Laurens, Iowa, who gained fame for traveling 240 miles on a 1966 John Deere riding lawn mower to visit his 80-year-old brother Henry in Blue River, Wisconsin who had recently suffered a stroke. At a top speed of 5 miles per hour, the journey took six weeks. The event happened in the summer of 1994 when Alvin was 73 years old.[1]

Mr. Straight could not see well enough to get a driver license so he decided his only option was the mower. Setting off in early July, he towed a trailer loaded with gasoline, camping gear, clothes and food, and arrived at his brother's house in mid-August. Henry Straight recovered and moved back to Iowa to be closer to his family.[2]

Alvin Straight was born in Scobey, Montana. He married Frances Beek on Oct. 17, 1946 in Scobie, Montana. [3]He moved with his wife Frances and their family to Lake View, Iowa in 1973 where he worked as a general laborer. He was a veteran of World War II — serving as Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army — and the Korean War. He was the father of five sons and two daughters.[1]

On November 9, 1996, Straight died of a heart ailment. A mower similar to the one he had used on his journey accompanied his funeral procession to the Ida Grove Cemetery.[1]

Straight's story was adapted into the film The Straight Story, directed by David Lynch, which starred Richard Farnsworth (in an Oscar nominated role) as Alvin Straight.


  1. ^ a b c "Alvin Straight". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  2. ^ "Man Who Made Solo Lawn Mower Journey Dies At 76. - Free Online Library". 1996-11-14. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]