Larry Harvey

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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

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]

Burning Man[edit]

Burning Man started in 1986 as a summer solstice evening ritual burning of their artistic creation of an effigy of a man with a group of just a dozen people at San Francisco's Baker Beach soon became an annual event that over four years grew to more than 800 people. In 1990, in collaboration with the SF Cacophony Society, the event moved to Labor Day weekend in the Black Rock Desert, where it has grown rapidly from a three-day, 80-person "zone trip" to an eight-day event with 70,000 participants.

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. He 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.

Other activities[edit]

He scripted and co-chaired/curated the arts department's annual event theme and was the main spokesperson and political strategist for the organization. He had been featured in such engagements as San Francisco's Grace Cathedral "Radical Ritual" with the Very Reverend 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 life[edit]

Harvey grew up in the Parkrose area, just east of Portland, Oregon.[2] Harvey graduated from Parkrose High School in 1966.[3] Harvey died on April 28, 2018 from a massive stroke he suffered earlier in the 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 links[edit]