He was born to Theodorus Apolonius Ninus Lorentz and Marie Soet. Lorentz, son of a tobacco grower in East Java who had returned to the Netherlands, studied law and biology at Utrecht University. He married Marie Lousie Clemence barones van Zuylen van Nievelt.
The nonvenomous Lorentz's treesnake Dendrelaphis lorentzii (van Lidth de Jeurde, 1911) is also named in his honour. The holotype was collected at Sabang on the Noord River (later renamed the Lorentz River) during Lorentz's third Papuan expedition.