A publicist whose clients included movie mogul Sam Goldwyn and Lord Mountbatten and General Dwight Eisenhower during World War II, died Tuesday, April 21, 1987, in New York Hospital of cardiopulmonary failure. He was 83.
A native of Cleveland, Mr. Lawrence graduated from Yale in 1927, went to Hollywood to write, and sold articles to the Saturday Evening Post, Liberty and other popular magazines. He became Goldwyn's advertising and publicity director, from 1933 to 1939, then went to the Motion Picture Film Producers Association as its public relations director.
In 1942, he became public relations aide to Mountbatten with the British commandos. A year later Eisenhower stole him away from Mountbatten, making Mr. Lawrence deputy chief public relations officer for the US Army in Europe, with the rank of colonel. He held the post to war's end. He was decorated with the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, the French Legion of Honor and the Order of British Empire.
Giving up Hollywood for New York after the war, he became executive vice president in the New York office of the J. Arthur Rank Organization, the British movie studio.
He was recalled to military duty by Eisenhower in 1951, to serve as public information officer at the Allies' Supreme Headquarters in Paris, a position he held for two years.
He later formed his own public relations and research firm, J.B. Lawrence Inc, which advised a number of American and British industrial and financial companies. In 1958 he was a U.S. delegate to the 10th UNESCO conference. Mr. Lawrence published two books of memoirs, “Include Me In,” about Hollywood and Sam Goldwyn, and “You Can't Shoot an Empty Gun,” about his World War II experiences.
He is survived by his wife, Carlene, and a sister, Mrs. Michael Moore of Los Angeles. Funeral service will be held Monday, Apr 27, at the Fort Myer Post Chapel in Arlington, Va.; burial at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in New York at a later date.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard