Conceptual artist Larry Harvey built the original Burning Man, the 8-foot effigy that he built and set fire to in 1986 at Baker Beach in front of 20 people. Since then the event has grown to almost 30,000 participants out on Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.
He was adopted by an Oregon farming family and spent his childhood among Mexican and Chinese immigrants in the Columbia River Valley. Neighbors didn't speak the same language.
A philosophical Libertarian, he keeps rules to an absolute minimum: whatever people do without hurting anyone else is their own business. One of his best skills is getting groups of people to work together.
Before and since the inception of Burning Man, Larry has been a member of the Cacophonist Society.