Ranch & Coast Magazine

August 2023

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Page 49 of 99

A T THE AGE OF 102, MAXIM JOHN Gurney still has dreams, primary among them to be at Normandy next year on June 6 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing with his dear friend Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Gurney, known to all as Max, has lived in La Jolla for the past 31 years. During World War II, he was a sergeant with the U.S. Seventh Army serving under General George Patton in both North Africa and Italy where he spoke fluent Italian. Prince Albert has deep American ties (his mother was the actress Grace Kelly) and is keen to honor those who sacrificed life and limb to free Europe from Nazi control. Gurney learned French as a child and following the war, he got a job with Pan American, then the largest international airline in the world, working at various stations across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. It was during his time in Nice, France, a short drive from Monaco, that he became friendly with Prince Rainier III, and later, his son, Albert. Gurney and Prince Albert have remained close friends even after Gurney retired, and he has long been an Honorary Consul of the Principality of Monaco in La Jolla. Prince Albert made a point of honoring Gurney with a luncheon on his 100th birthday at the Monaco Yacht Club. Gurney has spent much of the last 30 years shuttling between La Jolla and Monte Carlo. Looking Forward to 103 Max Gurney, a great American and, for 31 years, a great La Jollan BY BILL ABRAMS Focus military Max Gurney PHOTO BY BOB SETFANKO ranchandcoast.com 50 AUGUST 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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