Gary Powers, Jr.

Born June 5, 1965, Gary holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and a Master’s Degree in US History. Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum located at Vint Hill, VA. He is the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study which assists the National Park Service to identify historic Cold War sites for preservation. In 2015, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg thriller, Bridge of Spies, about 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 and Spy Pilot. He lectures internationally, appears regularly on news broadcasts, and is married with one son. 

Presentation Topics

Three-Hour Film Screening of Bridge of Spies with Commentary and Q&A. Separate Fact from Fiction!

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers' only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Francis Gary Powers, Jr. consulted on this film. During the program he will discuss the misinformation in the movie, talk about being on set, working with the cast and crew, and will offer a behind the scenes look into what motivated Spielberg to make this movie.

One-Hour Discussion on Letters from a Soviet Prison and Private Correspondence of CIA U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers.

Francis Gary Powers Sr was a CIA U-2 pilot who was shot down in the midst of the Cold War, on May 1, 1960, while flying in Soviet airspace. After his capture, he was tried for espionage and then served nearly two years in a Soviet prison until his eventual release in exchange for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel, a senior KGB spy who was caught in the United States in the late 1950s. During this program Francis Gary Powers Jr. will talk about his father’s letters to and from prison as well as the journal he kept while incarcerated. Reading excepts from this primary source document, Gary will explain what it was like for his father to be shot down over the Soviet Union, interrogated by the KGB, and ultimately exchanged for a Soviet spy

One-hour discussion on the book Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident , and a Controversial Cold War Legacy.

Based on newly available information, the son of famed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers presents the facts and dispels misinformation about the Cold War espionage program that turned his father into a Cold War icon. One of the most talked-about events of the Cold War was the downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. On his return to the United States, Powers was exonerated of any wrongdoing while imprisoned in Russia, yet, due to bad press and the government's unwillingness to heartily defend Powers, a cloud of controversy lingered until his untimely death in 1977. Now his son, Francis Gary Powers Jr. and acclaimed historian Keith Dunnavant have written this new account of Powers' life based on personal files, audio tapes, letters, and the transcript of his father's debriefing by the CIA that had never been previously available. During this program Gary will talk about his 25 years of research to set the record straight in regards to the misinformation surrounding the U-2 Incident.

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