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Lawrence Bender: An Original UMaine Success Story

One of the most recognizable and highly-respected names in the world of film and television is Lawrence Bender.

The 60-year-old Hollywood super producer is well known for his ground-breaking alliance with Quentin Tarantino, another legendary film maker who is a screenwriter and director. 1992’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’ was the foundation for Tarantino and Lawrence Bender Productions.

After this era-defining film was released, a number of other films, such as 1994’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ and 1997’s ‘Jackie Brown’ would be released by the film distribution powers associated with the business partnership between Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino.

However, ruling Tinsel Town was not the first dream Bender had growing up. In fact, following in the tradition of his grandfather, Bender enrolled in the University of Maine during the 1970s to study civil engineering long before Lawrence Bender Productions was founded.

However, it was during his years at the University of Maine in which an epiphany of sorts occurred for the budding young film maker. Bender did eventually obtain his degree in civil engineering from UMaine and graduated in 1979.

But he went in a totally different career direction after graduation. “Speaking in a funny kind of way, you would never say, ‘OK, I want to become a producer. I’ll get a degree in civil engineering, become a dancer, and then become a producer,’” Bender told the UMaine Today newspaper.

“However, I happened to have managed those two things and they are exactly what producing requires. It’s to be able to creatively tell a story and, at the same time, to solve all of the problems in order to tell that story,” he continued.

In 2013, Bender received an accolade from his alma mater that is just as illustrious as his several Oscar nominations. In that year, The University of Maine awarded Bender with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. He cherished this marvelous experience in a 2013 interview with the Portland Herald newspaper.

“The University of Maine gave me everything I needed to do what I do. There’s so much stuff out there, and when you’re in college, you’ve got to grab it and absorb it,” Bender told the Herald.