On Our Nightstand: Willard Garvey – An Epic Life


He began his life working in “Grapes of Wrath”-like orchards in the middle of the Great Depression. He then went on to be one of the first three American officers into Berlin after the city fell. He supported independent journalism in the United States and also helped the slums of India by pioneering affordable home ownership. He built Kansas’s tallest building, the Epic Center, and was the largest private landowner in Nevada. Clearly, Willard Garvey was a unique man.

To capture his impressive accomplishments, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maura McEnaney spent six years putting together his story in “Willard Garvey: An Epic Life.” McEnaney explores Garvey’s idea of what makes a Good Samaritan and how he strove for those ideals. She discusses how he affected family-owned businesses in the United States and his efforts to limit government control over the media.

McEnaney met Garvey in Paradise Valley, Nev., after graduating from Syracuse University. She has been a close friend of his family for more than 30 years. “This book is not only the story of his life, but it’s an American story seen through the eyes of a bold, independent Kansas entrepreneur,” McEnaney says. “Willard Garvey: An Epic Life” is available at all major booksellers.

- Alex Sher