James Lord (author)

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James Lord
Born(1922-11-27)November 27, 1922
DiedAugust 23, 2009(2009-08-23) (aged 86)
Paris, France
OccupationWriter, essayist
Partner(s)Gilles Roy-Lord

James Lord (November 27, 1922 – August 23, 2009) was an American writer. He was the author of several books, including critically acclaimed biographies of Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso.[1][2] He appeared in the documentary films Balthus Through the Looking Glass (1996) and Picasso: Magic, Sex, Death (2001).

Life and career[edit]

Lord was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up there, the son of Louise and Albert Lord.[1] His father was a stockbroker, and until the Wall Street crash the family lived, as Lord put it, in "the lower echelons of the upper classes".[2] He graduated from Englewood School for Boys (now Dwight-Englewood School) in 1940.[3]

Lord attended Wesleyan University, though he never earned a degree. He served in the United States Army during World War II, keeping his homosexuality carefully hidden.[4][5]

Lord died of a heart attack in Paris, at the age of 86.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2017 movie Final Portrait retells the story of his friendship with the painter Alberto Giacometti. Lord is played by Armie Hammer.

Selected bibliography[edit]

Biographies and novels[edit]

  • No Traveler Returns. John Day Company. 1956. ASIN B002DGC9J4.
  • The Joys of Success. John Day Company. 1958. ASIN B0007E5806.
  • A Giacometti Portrait. Forgotten books. 1965. ISBN 978-1528340182.
  • Giacometti: A Biography. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1985. ISBN 978-0374525255.
  • Picasso and Dora: A Personal Memoir. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 1993. ISBN 978-0297813835.
  • Six Exceptional Women. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1994. ISBN 978-0374528362.
  • Making Memoirs. Elysium Press. 1995. ISBN 978-0964039940.
  • Some Remarkable Men. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1996. ISBN 978-0374266554.
  • A Gift for Admiration. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1998. ISBN 978-0374281922.
  • Stories of Youth. Elysium Press. 2001.
  • My Queer War. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2010. ISBN 978-0374532758.



  1. ^ a b Hawtree, Christopher (September 24, 2009). "Obituary for James Lord". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b c Grimes, William (August 27, 2009). "James Lord, Biographer and Memoirist, Is Dead at 86". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Distinguished Alumni Award, Dwight-Englewood School. Accessed June 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Perl, Jed (May 28, 2010). "Finding His Way to Paris". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Lord writes about 'the inconvenience of being queer' during the Second World War with unsparing bravery.", My Queer War (excerpt of a review on the back cover), Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York (2010); ISBN 978-0-374-21748-8 (hardcover).

External links[edit]

  • James Lord Papers. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.