Gary P. West grew up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and attended Western Kentucky University before graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism in 1967.
At UK he was a daily sports editor for the Kentucky Kernel. Later he served as editor for the nation’s largest civilian enterprise military newspaper at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From there he went to work as an advertising copywriter in the corporate office of one the country’s largest insurance companies, State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Illinois.
In 1972 he returned to Kentucky where he began publishing an advertising shopper in Bowling Green. Along the way, for twelve years, he worked in the athletic department as executive director of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation at Western Kentucky University, and provided color commentary on the Hilltopper Basketball Network.
In 1993 he became executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he solidified his background in hospitality. He is a freelance writer for several magazines, in addition to writing a syndicated newspaper column, Out & About… Kentucky Style, for a number of papers across the state.
In 2005 he wrote the highly acclaimed biography, King Kelly Coleman: Kentucky’s Greatest Basketball Legend, in 2006, the best selling travel guide Eating Your Way Across Kentucky, and in 2007, its sequel Eating Your Way Across Kentucky-The Recipes, and in 2008, Shopping Your Way Across Kentucky.