Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Author of a Legend
Walter Lord was born on October 8, 1917 in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1939, he graduated from Princeton University and tried to get into Yale, but he joined the army after Pearl Harbor. He was made a code clerk in London, and graduated from Yale with a degree in law after WWII ended. Lord wrote 13 bestselling books. They were Day of Infamy, Incredible Victory, A Time to Stand, Peary to the Pole, Good years from 1900 to the First World War, The Past that would not Die, his greatest work A Night to Remember, and The Night Lives On. From what I know, Walter Lord after writing A Time to Stand about The Alamo, he actually discovered the long lost flag from the battle in the Mexican archives. While writing about A Night to Remember and The Night Lives On about the Titanic, he tracked down 63 living survivors in order to get their stories of the sinking and afterward. In 1958, William McQuitty decided to do a movie using A Night to Remember's name and facts. It tells the story minute-by-minute through the eyes of Kenneth More playing 2nd Officer Charles Lightoller, and going through the bravery of Thomas Andrews, Captain Smith, the true story of Ismay, the Strausses, and many others. The sets were built using the original blueprints and designs, and they had survivors including Lawrence Beasely, and Edith Russell. It remains to this day as the most accurate movie today. Walter Lord acted as technical adviser along side with survivor 4th Officer Joseph Boxhall. Walter Lord became known also for is vast collection in things that survivors from the Titanic had given him, and original pictures. Among those things was a musical toy pig from Edith Russell that she played in the lifeboat in order to comfort the children. In 1997, after years of speaking and signing autographs, he helped James Cameron in his movie, Titanic. Walter Lord died on May 19, 2002 at the age of 84 after battling Parkinsons for years. He was buried in a family plot in Green Mountain Cemetery.