Born June 5, 1965, in Burbank, California, he is the son of Francis Gary and Claudia “Sue” Powers. Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master Degree in Public Administration / Certification in Non-profit Management from George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, Virginia. He is currently writing his thesis for his Master Degree in U.S. History from Adams State University, Alamosa, CO.
Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c) (3) charity located at Vint Hill, VA 45 minutes west of Washington, DC. He founded the museum in 1996 to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. As Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study he works with the National Park Service and leading Cold War experts to identify historic Cold War sites for commemorating, interpreting, and preservation. Recently, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies, about James Donovan who brokered the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr.
Gary is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison (2017) and Spy Pilot (2019) which both help to dispel the misinformation surrounding the U-2 Incident. He is a Board Member of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Omaha, NE and an Honorary Board Member of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Because of his efforts to honor Cold War veterans the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on C-SPAN, the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels. He is married and has one son.
Awards, Recognition, and Community Involvement
- The SAC and Aerospace Museum (Board Member) 2018-2019
- Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study (Chairman), 2010-2019
- International Spy Museum (Honorary Board Member) 2016-2019
- The Cold War Museum (Advisory Board Member) 2010-2019
- Rotary International (Member), 1998-2019
- Civil Air Patrol (Member), 2018-2019
- The Benjamin School, Palm Beach, FL (Visiting Scholar), 2017, 2019
- Lawrence Academy, Grofton, MA (J. William Mees Visiting Scholar), 2017
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Tourism and Education Committees), 2006-2011
- Virginia Network of Nonprofit Organizations (Public Policy Committee), 2009-2010
- Certificate of Appreciation – U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, 2010
- FBI Richmond Field Office Citizens’ Academy, 2007
- Ten Outstanding Young Americans – United States Jaycees, 2002
- Ten Outstanding Young Virginians – Virginia Jaycees, 1998
- Certificate of Appreciation – Central Intelligence Agency, 1997
- Certificate of Appreciation – National Security Agency, 1997
- Overhead Reconnaissance Preservation Award – National Reconnaissance Office, 1996