Jim Lawrence
• Name: James D. Lawrence
• Joined Infocom: 1983
• Games written: 2
• Left Infocom: 1986

Jim Lawrence was born on October 22, 1918, in Detroit. His youth took him from the Naval Academy in Annapolis to Detroit's Wayne University, where he earned a degree in education, over the Detroit Institute of Technology, achieving a degree in mechanical engineering during a summer, to teaching art at Detroit public schools during 1940. On the side he also worked as a factory hand, office clerk and safety engineer to support himself and his wife Marie, whom he had married in 1939, and with whom he had six children.

His true call came in the Spring of 1941, when he was hired as writer by the Jam Handy Organization, a producer of short educational and commercial movies. His assignments there were scripts for naval and military training films, but after some time he also did some freelance writing for youth publications.

In 1944 he decided to go full-time as a freelancer, writing magazine articles and scripts, and by 1949 his writing focus almost entirely shifted from non-fiction to fiction when he took up writing for a radio show called "Challenge of the Yukon." Many other radio shows, like "The Green Hornet" and "The Silver Eagle," followed, as well as magazine articles, comic strips (which he also sometimes illustrated) and books. He is well known for his contributions to series like "Nancy Drew" and "Tom Swift, Jr." Steve "Woz" Wozniak, one of the founding fathers of Apple, quotes them as one of his main inspirations for his interest in technology.

The first thing Jim saw about Infocom was the review of "Deadline" in the New York Times Book Review and as an accomplished writer he immediately became interested in this company from Massachusetts that wrote stories you could participate in.

He went to visit Infocom and almost instantly reached agreement for a job. The first task he then was assigned to was writing "Seastalker" together with Stu Galley, with whom he also worked on "Moonmist." Benefitting from his great writing experience, Jim almost got poor Stu out of his mind, when he continued to make a plot more and more dense, which ended in him telling Stu: "Don't worry, Stu. I've gotten heroes out of much tougher situations than this."

Jim's agreement with Infocom had originally been over three games, but after their takeover of Infocom (see History) Activision paid him out of it.

After his time with Infocom Jim slowed down his work as a writer and refrained from high profile jobs. Instead, considering his age, he decided to spend more time with his family.

Jim Lawrence died in 1994.

Many thanks to Jim Lawrence Jr. for contributing to this biography.

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Titles written by Jim Lawrence:

Seastalker (1984) (with Stu Galley)

Moonmist (1986) (with Stu Galley)

Past Infocom:


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