Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Legacy of Honor

Legacy of Honor

The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts

Alvin Townley

Thomas Dunne Books



Over the past century, America's Eagle Scouts have earned a reputation for service, virtue, and leadership that is recognized throughout the world. But few people realize the full extent to which Eagle Scouts have made a mark on American history. They have served as astronauts, soldiers, politicians, and businessmen, but they have also been the fathers, brothers, Scoutmasters, coaches, and other role models who have played an integral part in American life.

Alvin Townley set out across the country to hear the stories of these Eagle Scouts. He spoke with individuals from every region, of every age and every background, some of whom have risen to fame as public figures while others have left a lasting impact outside of the spotlight.

The Eagle Scouts who share their experiences include Bill Gates, Sr., Bill Bradley, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Lugar, Michael Dukakis, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, coach Chan Gailey, and Capt. Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. The book also explores the virtues of a Tuskegee Airman, a Vietnam War POW, a September 11 NYPD hero, a crew of Hurricane Katrina relief workers, and a host of others from every walk of life.

During his journey, Alvin discovered stories of character, courage, and inspiration that belong not only to Eagle Scouts but to all Americans. These stories form the heart of Legacy of Honor and offer us a chance to appreciate the profound impact that Eagle Scouts have had on American history and the lasting role they will play in our country's future.


Praise for Legacy of Honor

“The stories captured in Legacy of Honor hold valuable lessons for our country as we face new challenges at home and abroad. These Eagle Scouts will inspire readers to become leaders in serving others.” —President Jimmy Carter

“Whether you choose to become a teacher, a police officer, a doctor, or even the mayor of the greatest city in the world, your experiences as an Eagle Scout will prove invaluable. Alvin Townley's Legacy of Honor does justice to the proud history and bright future of the Eagle Scouts.” —Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Alvin Townley's book describes how the Eagle Scout program can shape a life. He demonstrates this by providing examples of many former Eagles who have succeeded in life in no small part because of their experience in scouting. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.” —Senator Bill Bradley

“In Legacy of Honor, we not only learn who many of these Eagle Scouts were, but the kind of leaders they have become and the enormous contributions they have made to their country and the world. In compiling these life stories, Alvin Townley has completed a picture of an extraordinary program and how its training has helped shape equally extraordinary lives.” —Hon. Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

“Alvin Townley's book reveals the legacy of the Boy Scouts. He relates the adventures and deeds of Eagle Scouts living by the Scout Oath … while contributing to the success of America. An excellent story that will inspire all of us.” —Captain James A. Lovell, commander of Apollo 13

“The unique leadership role in America over the past century of men who earned their Eagle Scout award as boys is unparalleled in business, the professions, politics, the military and national security. Legacy of Honor explores this extraordinary phenomenon of Eagles' leadership through individual stories, both informative and inspirational.” —Robert M. Gates, former CIA director and National Eagle Scout Association president

Legacy of Honor will have a positive impact on the lives of millions of boys and their families. … If everyone in our country lives the principles of Scouting, the best years in our country's history will be in the future.” —Ross Perot

“Scouting and conservation share respect for the natural world, so it always seemed natural to me that many of our staff and volunteer leaders would be Eagle Scouts--this book provides wonderful insights into all that Scouting offers and how it helps develop tomorrow's leaders.” —Steve McCormick, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy

“Commitment and devotion to the bedrock principles of our country -- optimism, fairness, determination and preparedness – are inseparably intertwined with Scouting. Alvin Townley does a superb job of portraying how Eagle Scouting helps shape these everyday yet incredibly powerful values that serve our families and society so well.” —J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Alvin Townley

Eagle Scout ALVIN TOWNLEY is the acclaimed author of Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts, Spirit of Adventure: Eagle Scouts and the Making of America's Future, Fly Navy: Discovering the Extraordinary People and Enduring Spirit of Naval Aviation, and Defiant:The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned. He lives in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

Alvin Townley

Trenton Ward

Alvin Townley

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