Larry Harvey, best known as the founder of "Burning Man" which is an annual event unlike any other that takes place in Black Rock City desert plains in northwest Nevada, has passed away. Marian Goodell, CEO of "Burning Man Project" confirmed that Harvey died on April 28th in a San Francisco hospital room surrounded by loved ones. The cause of his death is listed as a stroke. Harvey had also suffered a stroke earlier this month. He was 70 years old.
Sources say that in a 2007 interview with the "Green Living" website, Harvey talked about how it all began. "I called a friend and said, "Let's go to the beach and burn a man," Harvey stated. "And he said, 'Can you say that again?' And I did and we did it."
Harvey moved from the beach (Baker Beach) to the desert, and in 1986 had the idea to build a giant wooden figure and watch it burn to the ground. Interest in Harvey's "burning man" took flight and it soon grew to become an annual event.
One of Harvey's good friends, Stuart Mangrum, posted on the project's website, sharing that Harvey did not believe in "any sort of existence" after death.
"Now that he's gone, let's take the liberty of contradicting him, and keep his memory alive in our hearts, our thoughts, and our actions," Mangrum wrote. "As he would have wished it, let us always Burn the Man."
Harvey's early life was just as fascinating as his later years. He believed that he was conceived in the back of a Chevrolet automobile only to be abandoned by his parents once he was born. He was adopted by a couple, "Shorty" and Katherine Harvey, who took him in with another boy, Stewart. The two were raised as brothers and formed a very tight bond. At the age of 17, he hitchhiked to San Francisco for 1965's "Summer of Love."
He leaves behind his son Tristan Harvey, brother Stewart Harvey, and nephew Bryan Harvey. He will be missed by all whose lives have been touched by Harvey personally and by the effects of Burning Man.
"Thanks for everything. (No, really, pretty much everything in my life right now is a result of Burning Man.)," one Burning Man fan wrote on the project's website.
There is no doubt that Harvey's legend will continue to burn strong and bright.