The first place that Lawrence Bender saw was the Bronx in New York City. Being born in such a rich cultural environment must have given him an extra dose of creativity, judging from his future endeavors. As he grew up in New Jersey, his parents, both of them educators, instilled in him a good work ethic and the desire to reach for excellence.
Lawrence’s grandfather was a civil engineer and he knew that he could have a lucrative career following in his granddad’s footsteps. He made the decision to do just that in high school and went on to graduate from the University of Maine with a degree in civil engineering in 1979. The direction of his life soon took a turn toward the entertainment industry, first as a ballet dancer then, after an injury, as an actor.
As time went by, Lawrence Bender became interested in being a producer of television fare as well as feature films. Several of the movies that he produced have been nominated for Academy Awards. Good Will Hunting, Inglourious Basterds, and Pulp Fiction are included in that group. An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary featuring former vice president Al Gore raising awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature. My favorite movie produced by Lawrence Bender is Good Will Hunting. I am amazed by the way the therapist, played by Robin Williams, is able to help Matt Damon’s character, the young genius, work through his issues while dealing with the immeasurable pain of his own.
Lawrence Bender is active in political and social matters, fighting for causes that he believes in. One of the ways he helps is by fundraising. Because of his dedication, he has received the Torch of Liberty Award from the ACLU. He is on the board of The Creative Coalition as well as the Advisory Board for the ACLU Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.