Alumni Feature - George R.R. Martin

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard about the TV show Game of Thrones - but have you heard of the famous writer and VISTA Alum, George R.R. Martin? Read an article on him that his program wrote for the 50 year anniversary of VISTA as our Alumni Feature this month!


If you’re part of the very small portion of the world that is not familiar with the HBO television series and award-winning book series, Game of Thrones, than you probably don’t know much about our most famous VISTA. Before he became a worldwide phenomenon for writing his Song of Ice and Fire series, George R. R. Martin was an AmeriCorps VISTA at LAF in the 1970’s.

After graduating with a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University, GRRM began his VISTA service at LAF’s downtown office in Chicago. At the time LAF was still known as the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation and had neighborhood offices throughout Chicago and Cook County. GRRM spent two years at CCLAF as the Director of Communications and Education, and his job duties were very similar to what our VISTA External Relations Coordinator, Karianna Simpkins, does today, writing press releases and editing the newsletter.

Now GRRM is an award-winning American novelist and short story writer who resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is currently in the process of writing The Winds of Winter, the sixth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and working as a co-executive producer of Game of Thrones.

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the VISTA program we wanted to thank George R. R. Martin for his service.  LAF is proud to call you one of our own!