LaVere Redfield was one of the most colorful and interesting characters in the West
from his arrival in Reno, Nevada in 1935 until his death at seventy-six years old in 1974.
Self-made multi-millionaire . . . ultra eccentric . . . the state's largest private
landowner . . . prodigious gambler . . . victim of the nation's largest home burglary . . .
convicted tax cheat . . . and famous after death as the fabricator of the $7.3 million
"Redfield Silver Hoard." These are just a few of the extraordinary facets of Redfield's life
that kept this quirky fellow in the news for most of his adult life, despite his fervent
desire to live in obscurity.
LaVere Redfield, Nevada multimillionaire, dressed for a court appearance in the early 1960s.
This biography is the first in-depth look at the life of this western original.
Folklore surrounding Redfield's life has crystallized into legend in Nevada.
But the true story of the man and his life is uncovered for the first time through
newspaper stories from around the West; national magazine articles; recorded oral
histories; in-depth diary and manuscript files; and a large number of personal
interviews with Redfield family, friends and acquaintances.
Acclaimed author John Berendt, Pulitzer Prize finalist for his non-fiction book
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
, specializes in books about quirky people
like LaVere Redfield. He wrote: "Eccentrics have a certain charm, and their lifestyles
require a certain amount of daring. They live outside the norm and therefore run the
risk of ridicule or even ostracism. I consider them artists, and their masterpieces
are their own lives." This book is the story of the life-the masterpiece, John Berendt
might say-of LaVere Redfield.
Although the story often reads like fiction, it is all true.