Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan, Jack Lord was the son of a steam freighter executive and a mother who owned a farm north of New York City. Aside from an early career at sea as well as an enlistment in the Merchant Marine (both before and during World War II), Lord had a talent for drawing and painting, majoring in Fine Arts at New York University. He began studying acting in New York and appeared in plays both on and off Broadway. From there, Lord secured roles in many classic television programs, including Playhouse 90, Have Gun, Will Travel, The Untouchables, and the lead in Stoney Burke. He also had a notable film career and played a prominent part in the James Bond film Dr. No.
Jack Lord is most famous for his signature role as Steve McGarrett on the long-running police drama Hawaii Five-O. After this show concluded, Lord retired and lived a secluded life on Hawaii with his wife Marie until his death in 1998.