His full legal name is Athelstan Joseph Michael Eavis
His family hails from Dorset and, after his great grand father walked north with a dairy herd, settled at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset.
His father was a local Methodist preacher, while his mother was a school teacher.
Eavis was educated at the fee-paying Wells Cathedral School.
His first job was working down a mine in Somerset for £27 a week.
He joined the British Merchant Navy as a trainee. His plan was to spend 20 years at sea, returning with a pension to subsidise the income from the farm.
Eavis stood as a candidate for the Labour Party in the 1997 General Election in the Wells constituency.
Eavis holds honorary degrees from the University of Bath and the University of Bristol.
Tony Blair awarded Eavis the CBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.
In 2010, the festival's 40th year, he appeared on the main stage at the festival with headline artist Stevie Wonder to sing 'Happy Birthday'.