George Malvaney with CUPS UP

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 5:00pm

George T. Malvaney's life epitomizes the old maxim that "You cannot make this stuff up." Combine a young Klansman from Mississippi, an armed coup attempt in the Caribbean, a stay in prison, and a life-changing epiphany, and you have but half of this swashbuckling tale. Throw in the worst man-made ecological disaster in the history of the United States, and you have unleashed Malvaney's full life story. The Klansman, the soldier of fortune, the wild-eyed prisoner transforms into a renowned leader of the Mississippi Gulf Coast cleanup effort in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In his too-crazy-not-to-be-true memoir, Malvaney chronicles what easily should be several lifetimes of adventure—and misadventure. Growing up in a close-knit family in Jackson, Mississippi, the young Malvaney preferred woods and swamps to the drudgery of high school. He dropped out, enlisted in the Navy, and shortly afterwards joined the Ku Klux Klan. While onboard, he organized a branch of the Klan, corrupting and endangering his crewmen. After his discharge, he answered a mercenary call to take part in an invasion of Dominica, a Caribbean fiasco known as the "Bayou of Pigs." That madness landed him in a federal penitentiary. And there, somehow, he vowed to turn his life around.

Cups Up, a title drawn from the wake-up call shouted at prisoners, is a story of perseverance, cleansing, and redemption. It chronicles the roller coaster life of a high school dropout, ex-Klansman, ex-mercenary, ex-felon, and ex-con, who went on to become a college graduate, a hard-nosed environmental regulator, and a widely respected top executive in a company with more than a thousand employees.

George T. Malvaney, Edwards, Mississippi, is best known for his work following British Petroleum's oil spill in 2010. He spent more than fourteen years with a nationally recognized environmental contracting firm overseeing sales, marketing, and field operations. Prior to that, he worked as an environmental scientist at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Today, he is a partner at Enhanced Environmental and Emergency Services (E3) and Malvaney and Associates.

A riveting story of perseverance and redemption that proves life is stranger than fiction.

Event address: 
Off Square Books
129 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655