Dr. John Parker Alfred Hammond (1913-1997) was a Scottish entrepreneur and the founder, CEO, and President of International Genetic Technologies, Inc. and later a de-extinct animal rights activist. He is best known for planning and partially constructing the revolutionary de-extinction theme park Jurassic Park, which eventually developed into Jurassic World. Hammond oversaw the de-extinction of the first prehistoric life as well as the origins of advanced genetic hybridization, and is considered to have been a key player in the early Genetic Age. He passed away due to natural causes in 1997 after having been removed from InGen due to numerous lawsuits, his increasing environmentalism, and the initial failure of Jurassic Park.
“Parker” is presumed to be Hammond’s primary middle name as it is used more frequently and appears on official documentation. “Alfred” is believed to be the secondary middle name, and has so far only been used by Eli Mills, aide to Hammond’s former business partner Benjamin Lockwood.
John is an English name taken from the original Hebrew Yochanan, and means “God is gracious.” The name Parker also comes from English, and is more commonly a surname; in the medieval age, it was often given as a nickname to gamekeepers and literally means “keeper of the park.” Alfred is Old English in origin and translates to “elf counsel;” elves were considered wise beings with the power of foresight, and therefore the name Alfred is associated with wisdom. Hammond’s surname is thought to have Norman, Germanic, or Old Norse origins, deriving from several given names. Depending on its origin, it either means “home” or “high protection,” both suggesting strong parental traits.
John Parker Alfred Hammond was born in 1913 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The exact date of his birth is not known. Family details are scarce, but he is known to have had at least one sibling, a sister, whose name and birth date are currently undisclosed.
During his young years in the 1920s and 1930s, Scotland faced severe economic depression. The Hammond family would have been affected by this. The late 1930s and early 1940s brought World War II to Scotland as well as the rest of the United Kingdom; as Hammond would have been in his twenties during the war, he would have been drafted into the military to fight the Nazis. His role in the war, including whether or not he saw active combat, is unknown. World War II ended on September 2, 1945, at which point Hammond would have been thirty-one or thirty-two years old.
At some point in his life, Hammond married and had a daughter. As his eldest grandchild was thirteen years old as of 1993, his daughter was probably born in the late 1950s or early 1960s. His sister, meanwhile, married into the Ludlow family and had a son, Peter, in the mid-to-late 1950s.
Hammond obtained a doctorate degree at some point from an as-of-yet-undisclosed institution. Nonetheless, he is still referred to more often as “Mr. Hammond,” despite Dr. Hammond being his correct title.
Hammond’s career as an independent entrepreneur was inspired by various theme parks and attractions that opened throughout the first half of his life: the San Diego Zoo (1916), Disneyland (1955), and SeaWorld San Diego (1964). According to Jurassic World: The Game, Hammond worked with his father on an attraction called Brighton Rock in his younger years; his first truly independent venture after leaving Scotland was a flea circus called Petticoat Lane. This got him on his feet as an entrepreneur, but he desired to build something that did not rely on illusion.
In 1969, by which time Hammond would have been fifty-six years old, he opened to the public an animal preserve called Animal Kingdom in Nairobi, Kenya. It was here that he met former big-game hunter Robert Muldoon, who worked as his park warden. Animal Kingdom was most likely financed by Hammond’s earlier business ventures in the United Kingdom.
Founding of International Genetic Technologies
At some point, Hammond ventured to the United States of America along with his daughter. Here, in 1975 at the age of sixty-two, he founded a genetics company named International Genetic Technologies, Inc. in San Diego, California with offices in Palo Alto and Europe. His partner in business, the wealthy British philanthropist Sir Benjamin Lockwood, was the primary financial benefactor to InGen and one of its founding members. Hammond was the company’s first Chief Executive Officer and President, sharing power with the Board of Directors.
Hammond’s success with InGen brought him onto the international stage, and he gained friends abroad. These included Sanjay Masrani, who had founded the telecommunications network Mascom out of Bombay, India two years before InGen was founded. His daughter also forged new connections and had married into the Murphy family probably sometime before 1980. Hammond’s first grandchild, Alexis, was born in by the summer of 1980; his second grandchild Timothy was born by the summer of 1984. Hammond himself kept in contact with Masrani as Mascom Network grew into a larger company, Masrani Global Corporation.
InGen, too, grew and flourished during the 1970s and 1980s. Hammond’s plans for the company were grandiose: he believed it was possible to extract prehistoric DNA from blood meals of hematophagous creatures such as mosquitoes preserved in ancient amber samples, using the extracted DNA to achieve the scientific dream of de-extinction.
De-extinction was more than simply another of InGen’s corporate goals. It was a dream of Hammond’s to bring the prehistoric world back to life for people all over the globe to see and enjoy, and during the 1970s and 1980s, he drafted up plans for a theme park, called Jurassic Park, which would exhibit long-gone plants and animals to the public. The Park was planned to be built in San Diego where InGen already owned property. To prepare for the Park’s construction, Hammond began funding the research of paleontologists such as Dr. Alan Grant, and partnered with amber mines such as Mano de Dios in the Dominican Republic. Hammond’s park warden from Animal Kingdom, Robert Muldoon, was also hired for the Jurassic Park project.
Hammond was well aware that InGen’s rival corporations, such as BioSyn, would compete fiercely to achieve his goals first. To avoid the risk of corporate espionage, Hammond opted to perform research and development at a remote location. In 1982, InGen acquired a 99-year lease on the East Pacific island of Isla Sorna and the surrounding Muertes Archipelago from the Costa Rican government, and on that island the company constructed a research facility labeled Site B. InGen itself expanded as well, with Hammond hiring his nephew Peter Ludlow among other employees.
While the Site B facilities were under construction, work on the mainland continued. In 1983, construction of the Jurassic Park facility in San Diego began; the year after, Hammond’s geneticists performed the first successful test fertilization of an artificial ovum at the Lockwood estate.
1985 was a momentous year for Hammond’s dream. InGen moved its main base of operations from San Diego to Palo Alto, and newly-hired paleogeneticist Dr. Laura Sorkin demonstrated that Mesozoic DNA could be extracted from amber inclusions as Hammond had hoped. The first samples were collected in a sub-basement laboratory built in the Lockwood estate explicitly for that purpose. From that point onward, the Park project proceeded at a breakneck pace: by the end of the year, Hammond made the executive decision to abandon the San Diego location and build instead on a remote island similar to Site B. Negotiations began with the Costa Rican government to add the island of Isla Nublar onto the lease, a decision which was finalized after some haggling over the price. The island’s native people, a Bribri tribe called the Tun-Si, were involuntarily relocated to the mainland between 1985 and 1987 to make way for Jurassic Park. Hammond and InGen were entrusted with providing for the displaced people’s needs, but are widely considered to have failed at doing so.
Within a year of the first successful DNA extraction from amber, InGen’s geneticists cloned and hatched the first-ever de-extinct animal, a Triceratops horridus, on Isla Sorna. That same year, InGen hired Dr. Henry Wu, a geneticist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; he would come to work closely with Hammond. The hiring of Dr. Wu was a major turning point for Jurassic Park. Wu pioneered new genetic engineering techniques with Hammond, in particular the process of genetic hybridization. By splicing compatible DNA sequences from donor species into the decayed segments of Mesozoic genomes, Wu was able to achieve viable embryos much faster than Dr. Sorkin’s more traditional methods of cross-referencing amber samples. This, along with Dr. Wu’s invention of the lysine contingency, led to Hammond and InGen favoring Wu over Sorkin and promoting him to the position of chief geneticist.
By 1988, construction on Isla Nublar was underway. Hammond hired John Raymond Arnold as the Park’s chief engineer, Dennis T. Nedry as the Park’s chief programmer, and Dr. Gerry Harding as the Park’s chief veterinarian. The first animals, including Triceratops and Brachiosaurus, were shipped from Site B to Jurassic Park that year, and a Tyrannosaurus rex was introduced to the Park the following year. Genetic research continued under Hammond’s direction into the 1990s, and the Park came closer to completion.
By 1992, Dr. Wu had created the species Velociraptor “antirrhopus“ by filling in certain gene sequence gaps in the Velociraptor genome with DNA from the common reed frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus). In February of 1992, Dr. Wu and Muldoon reported that the raptors showed signs of high collective intelligence. This led to a long-standing disagreement between Hammond and Muldoon; the former wanted to utilize the impressively intelligent animals in the Park, while the latter was alarmed by their abilities and wanted them euthanized before they became a serious security threat. Hammond, being the CEO of InGen, ultimately got his way.
Tragedy struck on multiple fronts in the 1990s in Hammond’s professional and personal life. He and Lockwood came to be at odds over the moral implications of cloning, particularly where human cloning was involved. Hammond was vehemently opposed to human cloning, while Lockwood saw opportunity to further the use of InGen technology. Ultimately, Lockwood would leave the Jurassic Park project over this disagreement, with the two men never reconciling. Hammond’s friend Sanjay Masrani would pass away unexpectedly in 1992, leaving his son Simon Masrani fatherless; Hammond took over the role of father figure to Simon from that point onward. Jurassic Park went on despite these events, but without the Lockwood fortune to fund it, the project began to suffer financially. This led to further, even more serious catastrophes striking Hammond in that decade.
The construction of Jurassic Park was never without difficulties. Equipment failure, computer glitches, unpredictable ecological elements, and scientific challenges slowed the Park’s development, but financial struggles were its greatest impediment. His chief programmer Dennis Nedry became dissatisfied with his salary, having underbid for the job, and requested a raise which Hammond denied. This disagreement eventually led to Hammond’s worst fear: corporate espionage on the part of BioSyn. In 1993, Nedry conspired with BioSyn’s Lewis Dodgson to steal trade secrets from InGen in exchange for US $1.5 million.
Hammond was unaware of this conspiracy, but was dealing with other problems regarding the biology of Jurassic Park. As Muldoon feared, the Velociraptors had become a problem; the newest addition to Isla Nublar’s raptor pride engaged in ferocious, lethal combat with the others, leaving only two others alive when the bloodbath ended. Hammond ordered replacements to be sent from Isla Sorna, but ultimately agreed to quarantine all the raptors until a better solution could be determined. (He did not agree to their euthanization, though he did approve the species Troodon pectinodon to be euthanized in its entirety.) Their paddock was then assigned to Herrerasaurus, which Hammond considered a safer alternative due to its lesser intelligence. During the relocation of the three surviving raptors from the original pride in early June, worker Jophrey Brown was mauled to death despite Muldoon’s best efforts, and his family sued InGen for US $20,000,000.
This was the last straw for InGen’s investors and the Board of Directors, who demanded that Hammond have the Park toured by outside experts before going forward. Only the experts’ endorsement could save Jurassic Park at this point, though some Board members remained optimistic after reviewing the Park’s progress. Hammond generally agreed with their comments, and sought the best experts in their respective fields to endorse Jurassic Park.
InGen legal consultant Donald Gennaro began working with Hammond due to the Brown lawsuit. The endorsement team was intended to consist of chaos theory mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, and a currently unidentified geologist. At Gennaro’s request, the geologist’s invitation was revoked due to concerns regarding the geothermal power plant‘s safety. Malcolm was easily persuaded to visit the Park, though he remained skeptical that Hammond’s claims of de-extinction were true (and if they were, that InGen could truly control the artificial ecosystem it had created). Grant was not as easy to recruit; Hammond was supposed to meet with Gennaro at the Mano de Dios amber mine to discuss the matter with the mine’s proprietor Juanito Rostagno, but did not show. To add to Hammond’s list of catastrophes, his daughter was beginning her divorce proceedings, so he opted to comfort her rather than attend to business matters.
Because of the divorce, Hammond decided to bring his grandchildren Lex and Tim to the island during the endorsement tour. Since children were a major part of Jurassic Park’s target audience, he considered this good for testing out the Park as well as getting them away from the ugliness of divorce. He also permitted his veterinarian Dr. Harding to bring his own daughter Jess to the island for a day at the same time, for unrelated reasons.
On June 7, Hammond arrived at a dig site near Snakewater, Montana by helicopter to visit Dr. Grant and gain his help. While there, he became acquainted with Dr. Grant’s colleague and romantic partner, paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. He extended the invitation to her as well, promising to continue funding their research for a further three years if they agreed. Naturally, the scientists took Hammond’s offer, and departed via helicopter for Choteau. From there, they took a jet to Costa Rica, where they joined Gennaro and Dr. Malcolm. They departed for Isla Nublar by helicopter and arrived to the island on June 11.
Hammond promised Gennaro that the tour would be a success, and astounded the scientists with de-extinct animal and plant life. During a tour of the Park’s Visitors’ Centre, his guests made an unscheduled exit of the tour and entered the laboratory, where they witnessed a hatching Velociraptor. Grant, amazed but worried about the Park’s safety, had Hammond show him the adult raptors. The group arrived in time to see the raptors devour a live bull, and Muldoon further fed their concerns about the raptors. This led to the tour group becoming more critical of the Park, and over lunch they expressed numerous criticisms to Hammond about the way InGen was handling the variables on the island. Gennaro, however, had become enthralled by the Park and was fully convinced it would succeed, though Hammond disagreed with Gennaro over matters of economic accessibility.
Lex and Tim joined the tour group around midday, and Hammond saw them all off as they left the Visitors’ Centre by means of electric-powered, automated Ford Explorers. Unfortunately, many of the dinosaurs failed to show, with only a sickly Triceratops making an impression. More problems arose during the tour; tensions were high in the control room as Muldoon’s paranoia and Nedry’s dissatisfaction caused arguments among the senior staff members. Muldoon was notified during the afternoon that the National Weather Service had determined a tropical storm was likely to affect the island that day; InGen had been aware of the storm, but hoped that it would pass south of the island like the previous one. With all but the most essential staff going home for the weekend, the storm would make the tour impossible to manage, so Hammond had Arnold reroute the tour and return it to the Visitors’ Centre.
While the tour was returning, Nedry left the control room under the pretense of going to the vending machines. He advised his coworkers that the computer systems would be compiling as a part of the debugging process, possibly leading to some Park systems turning off temporarily. As a result, Hammond was not immediately concerned when security cameras and other electronic systems in the Visitors’ Centre switched off after Nedry departed. He began to worry when the Park’s electrified paddock fences deactivated, and the tour vehicles stalled in front of the tyrannosaur paddock. With the phones down, the control room could not reach any other part of the Park for help, and the last ship off the island left without knowing anything was wrong. Arnold was unable to restart the security systems, becoming locked out.
Dr. Sattler had been returned to the Visitors’ Centre while this was all unfolding, having left the tour group shortly before the storm struck the island. Hammond, realizing that Nedry might not be coming back, tasked Muldoon with retrieving the other tour group members using a staff jeep; Dr. Sattler went along with him. They returned with devastating news: the tyrannosaur had escaped, Gennaro was dead, and Dr. Malcolm was grievously wounded. They had found evidence that Dr. Grant and Hammond’s grandchildren had escaped with their lives, but had no way to track them through the undeveloped jungle of the animal paddock interiors.
That night, Sattler confronted Hammond about the disaster. Hammond was forced to face the possibility that his dream had failed, and ultimately Sattler sympathized with him. Hammond held out hope that Dr. Grant’s paleontological expertise would give him and the children a fighting chance for survival.
In the morning of June 12, Hammond approached the Park with renewed vigor to salvage the situation. He knew now that Nedry had betrayed him and everyone else on the island, and their only hope lay in undoing the sabotage themselves. Refusing to wait for the lysine contingency to take effect, Hammond entrusted Arnold with shutting down the Park’s computer system entirely, the theory being that the system would be clean when it was turned back on due to the settings defaulting to normal. Arnold reluctantly complied, but the system shutdown tripped the circuit breakers, preventing the Park from turning back on. Arnold went to the maintenance shed on the other side of the visitor compound to reset the breakers. In the meantime, Muldoon brought Hammond and Sattler to the visitor compound’s emergency bunker for safety.
Hammond and the others became concerned when Arnold did not return, and Muldoon and Sattler volunteered to go and finish the job. Hammond was reluctant to let Sattler handle such a dangerous situation, but was unable to talk her out of it, so she left with Muldoon. Via handheld radio, Hammond and Malcolm communicated with them on the mission. They discovered that the shutdown had turned off the security measures surrounding the raptor quarantine, and Muldoon stayed behind to hunt down the animals while Sattler continued into the shed.
With Malcolm’s help interpreting the shed blueprints, Hammond guided Sattler via radio to the circuit breakers and restored power to the Park. Moments later, the sounds of a struggle came across the radio and they lost contact with Sattler. Briefly, Hammond and Malcolm had no way of knowing if anyone else on the island had survived. Sattler returned to the emergency bunker along with Grant, who confirmed that the children were alive and in the Visitors’ Centre. Arnold and Muldoon had both died, victims of the raptors. Grant and Sattler armed themselves and prepared to finish restoring the Park.
As they contemplated the situation, the bunker’s phone unexpectedly rang. The survivors were now in the Visitors’ Centre, cornered by raptors but with the sabotage undone by Lex. Grant instructed Hammond to call for rescue, which he did; however, he once again lost contact with the other group as the raptors broke into the control room. Refusing to assume the worst, Hammond wasted no time in securing a jeep and racing to the Visitors’ Centre with Malcolm in tow. He arrived to rescue the scientists and his grandchildren as they fled the building, driving them to the helipad where they escaped the island. Before leaving, Hammond was hit with the full realization of what his ambitions had cost him and those close to him, and he was overwhelmed by a sense of failure. Grant had to help him into the helicopter so he could leave the island.
Aftermath of the Nublar incident
InGen faced its greatest financial disaster yet due to the incident. Wrongful death lawsuits from the families of Gennaro, Arnold, and Muldoon brought InGen to the brink of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Site B was abandoned due to Hurricane Clarissa as well as InGen’s financial crisis. While the planned destruction of Isla Nublar was never carried out in full, it was assumed that the lysine contingency would finish off the dinosaurs in short order. The survivors and former employees of Jurassic Park were all made to sign nondisclosure agreements, though Dr. Malcolm violated his by confirming rumors about the incident to Dr. Sarah Harding in 1993 and to the general public via television interview in 1995.
The disaster on Isla Nublar fundamentally changed Hammond. He abandoned de-extinction research, though he signed off on an asset reconnaissance operation in 1994. This revealed that the lysine contingency had not killed off the dinosaurs, and that they were surviving on Isla Nublar and actually flourishing on Isla Sorna. While InGen continued to operate, Hammond was inspired by the dinosaurs’ unlikely survival and sought to protect them. His capitalist philosophy evolved into a naturalist one, and he fought the Board’s plan to recapture the animals and reopen the Park. His nephew Peter Ludlow gained favor with the Board by running a smear campaign against Ian Malcolm beginning in 1995 when he publicly talked about the incident; Jurassic Park was dismissed as a hoax by the general public. Hammond’s increasingly poor leadership due to his devotion to the dinosaurs’ welfare caused the Board to lose faith in him, and many of its members sought to remove him from his position.
In December of 1996, Site B was accidentally discovered by the Bowman family, and their daughter Cathy was seriously injured by a group of Compsognathus. They threatened to sue InGen, doubtlessly having realized that Malcolm had been telling the truth; InGen faced the possibility that the reality of de-extinction would be proven true, vindicating Malcolm and causing a public relations disaster. That threat, and the one posed by the Bowman lawsuit, resulted in the Board of Directors unanimously passing Corporate Resolution 213C that autumn as proposed by Peter Ludlow: the immediate removal of Hammond from the positions of CEO and President to be succeeded by Ludlow.
Upon assuming the position, Ludlow’s first action was to enact a long-standing plan to remove animal assets from Isla Sorna and reopen Jurassic Park under its original San Diego location. Hammond himself faced the brunt of bankruptcy without InGen to protect him, and began to suffer from illnesses and afflictions related to old age.
While Ludlow assembled a team of experts to collect dinosaurs from Isla Sorna, Hammond orchestrated countermeasures. He contacted Dr. Sarah Harding, daughter of his former chief veterinarian and behavioral paleontologist, to go to Isla Sorna and research the animals living in the wild. She left in late October to arrive there ahead of Ludlow’s team, who she was unaware of. Hammond also contacted Eddie Carr, a field equipment manufacturer, to provide the necessary vehicles, communication, and other supplies for the research mission. He would arrive after Harding with the rest of the team. The third member was Nick Van Owen, a Nightline reporter and avid animal rights activist; Van Owen was ostensibly on the team to obtain video footage of the animals in the wild and win the hearts of the public, but Hammond confided in Van Owen alone that Ludlow was bringing his own team to the island. If Ludlow’s team got the upper hand, Van Owen was to sabotage them by whatever means necessary.
The fourth and final member of Hammond’s team was Dr. Ian Malcolm, whom Hammond selected due to his history of being right about InGen operations and his status as a celebrity scientist. Hammond also had leverage with Malcolm that he could not have had with other Jurassic Park survivors: Malcolm was romantically involved with Dr. Sarah Harding, and she was already on the island. Hammond disclosed all this to Malcolm upon summoning him to his New York estate, and when Malcolm learned that Harding was on Isla Sorna, he agreed to go if only to rescue her. Hammond, however, knew that he had secured his fourth team member.
Hammond’s remaining team members departed for Isla Sorna to arrive on November 2. He does not appear to have been in contact with them during the events that unfolded that day, but the Board was in touch with Ludlow via radio that night. While Ludlow discussed their plans, the feed was abruptly cut off. If Hammond was made aware of events on Isla Sorna, he would not have known the fates of his or Ludlow’s teams until the night of November 3. That night, Van Owen radioed the InGen Harvester base from the Site B Workers’ Village, advising them to send emergency rescue and that both teams had suffered casualties. Malcolm and the others would have had a chance to contact him upon their evacuation, upon which Hammond would have learned that Carr had died during the operation but that the dinosaurs had been freed but for two of them. A father and son Tyrannosaurus rex were en route for San Diego, the adult via the S.S. Venture and the juvenile via Ludlow’s private jet.
While the adult was unintentionally released into San Diego in the early morning of November 4, the efforts of Drs. Malcolm and Harding successfully obtained the juvenile and recaptured the adult, placing both animals in the ship’s cargo hold. Ludlow was killed by the tyrannosaurs during an attempt to salvage the situation.
Aftermath of the San Diego incident
With InGen left leaderless, the fate of Isla Sorna was left to governmental authorities. Hammond urged the public and government as early as November 4, 1997 to treat Isla Sorna as a wildlife preserve, and work began to ensure that it remained that way. The United States and Costa Rican governments collaborated to restrict Isla Sorna to civilian traffic for the safety of both humans and wildlife, with the island managed by the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves.
Hammond also worked with InGen and the United States House Committee of Science to pass the Ethical Negligence in Paleo-Genetic Resurrection Bill (better known as the Gene Guard Act), which restricted InGen from continuing with de-extinction research and mandated that they provide for the wellbeing of the organisms they had already created. With this final action, Hammond was finally able to rest believing that he had managed to protect his animals from harm.
Hammond passed away in the winter of 1997, shortly after the Gene Guard Act was approved by the U.S. House Committee of Science. If he reached his birth date that year, he would have passed away at the age of 84. Simon Masrani was with him during his final days, and is believed to have been among the last people to speak with him while he was alive. According to Masrani, it was Hammond’s dying wish for him to take the helm of InGen, an ambition which he took very seriously.
Deleted concepts from The Lost World: Jurassic Park suggest that Dr. Ian Malcolm was a key eulogist at Hammond’s funeral, which was attended by his family and friends.
InGen, de-extinction, and the Genetic Age are all deeply associated with John Hammond’s legacy in the modern day, and have been since his death. After he passed away, a bidding war for InGen began; the company was acquired by Masrani Global Corporation, making Hammond’s surrogate son Simon Masrani the new head of InGen.
Unfortunately, Isla Sorna would not remain untouched for long. The public was fascinated with dinosaurs, and illegal intrusions to the island occurred—not only by curious civilians, but from within InGen itself. While it is unknown whether Masrani himself was aware of any InGen activity resuming on the island, scientists from the company (almost certainly including Dr. Henry Wu) violated the Gene Guard Act in late 1998 and early 1999 by cloning new organisms within one hundred days of the corporate buyout. Internal data suggests that this activity, which included not only de-extinction but also research into hybridization, was explicitly intended as early research and development for a new incarnation of Jurassic Park.
While this illegal InGen activity had ceased by mid-1999, Isla Sorna was irreversibly altered. The island’s fragile ecosystem was burdened with over a hundred new organisms, including huge herbivores and at least one new apex predator. Illegal tourism and poaching also harmed the island, and by 2004, it experienced an alarming trophic cascade event. By that time, Masrani Global Corporation had led InGen back to Isla Nublar and was well underway with constructing Jurassic Park’s second incarnation, now called Jurassic World. Simon Masrani ordered the transportation of Isla Sorna’s endangered animals to Isla Nublar, where they would be safely integrated into Jurassic World facilities. Herbivores, including some which had been temporarily relocated to Isla Sorna, where relocated beginning in January, while carnivores were introduced beginning in September.
Despite all these illegal and morally complicated actions, all indications are that Masrani genuinely believed he was honoring Hammond’s legacy. He opted not to reuse the original Visitors’ Centre, instead building a larger and more grandiose Innovation Center, but featured a bronze statue of Hammond at the entrance to the laboratory. The lab itself was christened the Hammond Creation Lab, and the park’s official website claimed that the lab would have been Hammond’s favorite feature in Jurassic World. Hammond was also commemorated in other ways, such as “Hammond Buddha” statues located in the Bamboo Forest, and clothing items inspired by his iconic fashion.
Benjamin Lockwood’s memory of Hammond softened with time, and he came to support Jurassic World using his foundation’s money. Lockwood devoted the rest of his life to advocating for dinosaur rights, though his view on human cloning remained as it was. Shortly before Lockwood’s own death, he used his resources to ensure the safety of the remaining dinosaurs despite opposition from the U.S. government.
While Hammond is a controversial figure, he is mostly favored in the public eye. De-extinction remains his legacy, and one which invariably affects the future of the world in countless ways.
Hammond’s lifelong career as a businessman provided him with ample opportunity to exercise his entrepreneurship skills, which he put to great use throughout his life. His first independent venture was a simple automated flea circus called Petticoat Lane; by 1969, he had become the operator of a wildlife park called Animal Kingdom in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 1975, he founded International Genetic Technologies, which is widely considered to be one of the most successful genetics companies in the world. Hammond operated as the company’s CEO and President from the time it was founded until his removal in 1997, shortly before his death. The Jurassic Park project was supported by the Lockwood fortune, but also by many international investors who funded the highly expensive venture. The fact that Hammond was able to nearly complete a de-extinction theme park on a remote island using technology that had not existed a mere decade earlier speaks to his skill as a businessman.
However, his boundless confidence would also be his undoing. He failed to recognize serious threats to the Jurassic Park project during its construction, including the possibility that a disgruntled employee might betray him. He hated inspections, believing that they would only hinder the Park’s progress, and was dismissive of legitimate safety concerns raised by his staff. At least five Park animals and one worker died in early 1993 due to improper oversight, which Hammond could have prevented by complying with his staff’s safety suggestions. His overconfidence in the Park also led in part to the incident which occurred in June 1993 on Isla Nublar, which caused immense damage to InGen as well as the deaths of multiple staff members and Park animals.
Hammond’s showmanship was one of his most prominent qualities, which helped his business ventures immensely as he attracted investors with his confident, exuberant personality. He was fully aware of his persuasive abilities, frequently using these to manipulate people into doing what he wanted. This helped him secure Drs. Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler for the 1993 endorsement tour, despite said tour’s eventual failure, as well as convincing members of the 1997 Gatherer expedition to Isla Sorna (including the reluctant Dr. Ian Malcolm) to participate. The entire 1997 expedition was actually an effort to sway public opinion in favor of making Isla Sorna a wildlife preserve, rather than allowing its animals to be collected for exhibition.
While his interpersonal skills won him many friends throughout his life, he was not without his personal struggles and difficulties. He was mostly very skilled at public presentation, but was sometimes known to become nervous and forget his lines during scripted speeches. He was also not incredibly skilled at resolving disagreements, which cost him the support of his business partner Benjamin Lockwood and Jurassic Park’s chief programmer Dennis Nedry. The latter played a key role in causing the 1993 incident which halted the construction of Jurassic Park.
Hammond was often reluctant to admit when he was wrong about a major issue, exemplified by his denial that Jurassic Park was no longer viable during the 1993 incident. He made every effort to salvage the situation despite the dire circumstances, only admitting defeat when he saw the mortal peril his ambitions had put his grandchildren in. It also took him four years to admit that Dr. Ian Malcolm’s criticisms of Jurassic Park, and of de-extinction in general, held valid points.
Hammond was often perceived as charmingly awkward in social situations, and despite having made millions of dollars through his entrepreneurship, as of 1993 he still did not have a complete grasp on the social norms of the wealthy. In 1993, he was seen to pour champagne into the incorrect glass despite claiming to “know his way around the kitchen.”
Skill with children
Although Hammond had his fair share of personal and professional disagreements, he always displayed particular skill with children. He was close with his daughter, as well as his two grandchildren who he remained extremely fond of until his death. Hammond also acted as a father figure for his friend Sanjay Masrani’s son Simon following Sanjay’s death. He was known for allowing the children of his friends to sometimes visit Jurassic Park while it was under construction; Benjamin Lockwood’s daughter Maisie was brought to Isla Nublar at some point, and chief veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding’s daughter Jess was allowed to visit the island for a day on June 11, 1993. Hammond considered children to be Jurassic Park’s target audience.
Skill with animals
Beginning in 1969 with the opening of Animal Kingdom in Nairobi, Hammond often worked with various types of animals. He was fascinated with the natural world, though he required the assistance of experts such as Robert Muldoon to manage his animals. When he began de-extinction research in the early 1980s, he hired Muldoon again for this reason.
Hammond showed great affection for nearly all of the animals he created for Jurassic Park. He claimed to have been present for the hatching of every creature on Isla Nublar (although most of these animals had not actually hatched there, having been bred on Isla Sorna instead), helping them to imprint on Hammond. He claimed that this helped the animals trust him, though he was not seen to interact with the adults in the paddocks.
Hammond was a reasonably skilled driver and was able to operate a vehicle even when under high pressure as of 1993. At the time, he was known to drive Jurassic Park’s 1992 Jeep Wranglers on the island himself, even though he was usually chauffeured around Isla Nublar by Park staff. As his health declined between 1993 and 1997, he likely did not drive himself very often.
In a deleted scene, Hammond is shown to be highly skilled with firearms, killing a threatening Velociraptor using what appears to be the Park’s standard Franchi SPAS-12. As he was born in 1913, he would have been eligible for the draft during World War II, and may have acquired firearms experience due to this.
In his later life, Hammond’s declining health caused him to become disabled. As of 1993, he required corrective lenses and a cane to support his right leg. Hammond incorporated his disabilities into a part of his iconic appearance, topping his cane with a polished amber sample containing an insect. In 1997 shortly before his death, his health further declined and he was seen to use medical equipment such as an intravenous line. At this point in his life, he mostly remained within his own home and frequently rested in bed. During this time, he remained active in protecting Isla Sorna and orchestrated an entire public relations mission to counter his nephew’s plans for Jurassic Park. Hammond’s mind appears to have remained clear and healthy up until his death.
Hammond always maintained a respectful, if misguided, view of nature. Since 1969, he made efforts to bring the natural world into the public eye with his first wildlife park Animal Kingdom in Kenya. He hired Robert Muldoon, a big game hunter turned conservationist, as park warden. Hammond was also fascinated by the prehistoric past, and his hypothesis that paleo-DNA from the Mesozoic era could be used to clone extinct creatures led to the development of Jurassic Park. This was an effort to bring creatures from all throughout Earth’s history into the public eye, as he believed every person had the right to see them.
Although his approach to nature was ultimately one of awe and wonder, in practice he often treated nature as a resource that could be exploited and something that humanity had the right to benefit from in exchange for preserving it. Jurassic Park exemplified this belief; the animals and plants were supposedly under InGen’s complete control, with everything from their behaviors to their habitat to their reproduction maintained by the company. Hammond failed to recognize the actual complexity of nature, which resulted in numerous issues at the Park.
Following the failure of Jurassic Park, Hammond blamed himself rather than the animals or nature for what had happened. In an effort to make up for his mistakes, Hammond sought to prevent InGen from exploiting the creatures any further. Ian Malcolm has described this change as “going from capitalist to naturalist.” In the end, Hammond took great measures to ensure the safety of the animals, working with the U.S. government to give them legal protection. Simon Masrani has claimed that when Hammond was dying, he entrusted Masrani with rebuilding Jurassic Park, but since Hammond’s actual last words were not recorded, it is unknown how much creative liberty Masrani took with interpreting them. As best as can be determined from Hammond’s own words, he did not want a new park, and instead wished for Isla Sorna to remain a wildlife preserve for de-extinct creatures.
Hammond’s views of de-extinction were entirely positive; the only de-extinct creature he is known to have disapproved of was Troodon pectinodon. Even the highly aggressive Velociraptor was considered worthy of recreation by Hammond’s principles. He approved of Dr. Henry Wu’s methods of genetic engineering to speed up the de-extinction process, even if this resulted in the animals being quite different from those in the fossil record.
As of 1993, Hammond viewed de-extinction as a part of the exploitable resources nature provided to humanity, and never considered that it could be used for harm. He took great pride in his creatures, with his favorite dinosaur allegedly being the Tyrannosaurus rex. Hammond focused mostly on the larger and more impressive animals, but also made space in the Park for more obscure creatures that his geneticists recovered. When animals caused problems in the Park, he was more likely to try a different approach than eliminate them; he approved of the Velociraptors being quarantined, but originally wanted to replace the animals that had died before deciding to use Herrerasaurus instead. He refused to have them euthanized despite Muldoon’s insistence. Hammond originally approved of Dr. Wu’s lysine contingency, but did not approve its implementation during the 1993 incident. The only animal which he approved to be euthanized was Troodon pectinodon, an extremely intelligent nocturnal predator with potent hallucinogenic venom.
On scientific discipline
In contrast to the members of the endorsement tour, who almost all advocated for the precautionary principle, Hammond believed that scientific exploration was not only desirable but necessary in nearly all cases. His methodology involved proceeding with progress immediately upon finding that it was possible, and he considered his opponents’ views to be Luddite in nature. Hammond’s firmly pro-science philosophy was coupled with a relative lack of understanding of the scientific process; he lamented the slow speed at which de-extinction was normally undertaken and approved of Dr. Wu’s genetic shortcuts to accelerate the process.
John Hammond did not believe in chaos theory.
Although his views on genetic engineering had shifted toward animal rights by 1997, he remained supportive of immediate progressive action in science. He was criticized by Dr. Ian Malcolm for sending a documentation team to Isla Sorna with minimal preparation, though Hammond’s haste was likely related to the impending InGen Harvester expedition which Dr. Malcolm was unaware of at the time.
One scientific field that Hammond did not support was human cloning. According to Eli Mills, Hammond referred to the idea of human cloning as “an unholy thing.”
Until the 1993 incident, Hammond was firmly a capitalist, believing that any available resources should be used to achieve economic prosperity. Unlike many of this philosophy, Hammond did not support the idea that goods and services should be privileges for the wealthy; he openly stated in 1993 that everyone in the world had an inherent right to see Jurassic Park’s animals and that Park tickets should not be prohibitively expensive. Nonetheless, the Park’s location on a remote Pacific island would make getting there expensive for the average person anyway, suggesting that Hammond lacked perspective on what was or was not prohibitively expensive.
Hammond also strongly held the view that everyone is responsible for their own financial situation and that employers or companies are not responsible for economic hardship to the individual. This led to repeated disagreements with some of his staff members, such as Dr. Laura Sorkin and Dennis Nedry, both of whom grew to resent Hammond because of this. While Hammond’s capitalist views had shifted more toward conservationism by 1997, there is no indication that other aspects of his economic philosophy were impacted by the role that his economic philosophy played in the 1993 incident.
Hammond made scarce few comments about his spiritual or religious beliefs throughout his life. He was known to refer to Hurricane Clarissa as an “act of God,” though this also is used as a legal term to describe events beyond human control. Hammond does not appear to have actually viewed the hurricane as divine intervention, but rather as a fortuitous random event. He was known to refer to the act of human cloning as “unholy,” suggesting that his moral opposition to it had some religious basis. However, cloning non-human organisms and genetic manipulation raised no similar criticisms from Hammond. This suggests that he viewed humans as special and separate from the rest of the animal kingdom, a common view held in many religious practices.
Having grown up mostly before the feminist movement gained much traction, Hammond held a largely dismissive view of women for most of his life, though there are signs that he had attempted to change his views with the times. He hired paleogeneticist Dr. Laura Sorkin, but eventually favored Dr. Henry Wu over her. During the 1993 endorsement tour, he extended an invitation to Dr. Ellie Sattler while attempting to recruit Dr. Alan Grant, mentioning that a paleobotanist’s opinion would be respected; however, during the incident itself, he was reluctant to allow her to take charge in dangerous situations and did not frequently heed her advice.
In 1997, Hammond first contacted paleobiologist Dr. Sarah Harding for his Gatherer expedition to Isla Sorna. Despite valuing her expertise, he was known to make patronizing comments about her, and his decision to send her to the island was partly a ploy to manipulate Dr. Ian Malcolm, who was in a romantic relationship with Harding, to join the team.
While his views on women remained conservative throughout his life, Hammond appears to have valued diversity in the workplace and hired employees of many backgrounds. These included numerous Costa Rican workers, African-American engineer Ray Arnold, and Chinese-American geneticist Dr. Henry Wu. He is known to have had international friendships, particularly Indian telecommunications mogul Sanjay Masrani. However, during the 1997 expedition, Hammond’s four hired personnel were all of European descent.
On indigenous rights
Hammond is known to have been dismissive of the rights of indigenous peoples on their own lands. Working with the Costa Rican government, he removed the Tun-Si tribe from Isla Nublar to make way for Jurassic Park, and failed to adequately provide the displaced people with shelter, medicine, or education as promised.
Sir Benjamin Lockwood
Among Hammond’s most significant long-term friends was Benjamin Lockwood, a wealthy British philanthropist who assisted Hammond in founding InGen. This means that they worked together from at least 1975, though Lockwood has described them knowing each other when they were young men, which suggests an even earlier friendship. The two men pioneered InGen and de-extinction together with scientists such as Dr. Laura Sorkin and Dr. Henry Wu, using Lockwood’s sub-basement laboratory to test fertilize artificial ova and extract the first paleo-DNA form amber.
In the 1990s, Jurassic Park was well under construction, and Hammond even permitted Lockwood to bring his young daughter Maisie to the island to see the dinosaurs. However, Lockwood proposed that InGen’s cloning technology could be used for purposes other than de-extinction, such as human cloning, a practice that is still today believed to have great medical potential. Hammond fiercely opposed this, and the disagreement caused an irreparable rift between the former friends. Lockwood departed InGen as a result.
Following Hammond’s death in 1997, Lockwood’s views on his deceased friend softened, and he came to forgive him. As of 2018, Lockwood held a portrait of Hammond in his house, held a cane similar to Hammond’s own, and had previously supported Jurassic World and de-extinct animal welfare. Hammond’s views on animal rights as of 1997 strongly influenced Lockwood’s.
In 1969, John Hammond opened his wildlife park Animal Kingdom to the public in Nairobi, Kenya; he hired former big game hunter Robert Muldoon as his park warden. This started a long-time partnership between Hammond and Muldoon that lasted until Muldoon’s death in 1993. When Hammond began working on Jurassic Park, he once again hired Muldoon to act as park warden. Although the two men disagreed on safety procedures, Hammond fully trusted Muldoon, and Muldoon remained loyal to Hammond all throughout. During the 1993 incident, Hammond’s grandchildren were placed in danger and he immediately entrusted Muldoon with safely retrieving them. Through the incident he repeatedly relied on Muldoon to keep his guests safe, which Muldoon faithfully did until he was killed while hunting escaped Velociraptors.
Details about Hammond’s family are mostly private, but he is known to have been close with many of his family members. Jurassic World: The Game suggests that he was close with his father, who taught him about running a business. Hammond wore a wedding ring late into his life, suggesting that his wife passed away sometime before 1993.
He had at least one child, a daughter, who married into the Murphy family and brought into the world two grandchildren named Lex and Tim. Hammond adored his grandchildren, and they loved him just as much. When his daughter began her divorce proceedings, Hammond briefly abandoned his duties to Jurassic Park to spend time with her, and invited Lex and Tim to see Jurassic Park during the endorsement tour. When conditions on the island became hazardous, the safety of his grandchildren became top priority for Hammond and was one of the main driving forces behind his realization that the Park had failed.
Despite the 1993 incident, Hammond’s grandchildren remained close to him until his death in 1997. When he lost his position as InGen’s CEO, Lex and Tim visited his New York residence to comfort him, and expressed concern about his failing health.
Hammond also had a sister, who married into the Ludlow family. She had a son, Peter, who Hammond hired sometime around 1982 during the early stages of the Jurassic Park project. Peter Ludlow would eventually become more ambitious than Hammond himself, believing that Hammond’s increasingly conservationist views were harming InGen and that Ludlow could do the job better. InGen Corporate Resolution 213C gave him this opportunity, and the Board of Directors removed Hammond from his position. Ludlow assumed the role of CEO. While this caused a great degree of bitterness between Hammond and his nephew, Ludlow clearly still admired Hammond’s showmanship and often tried to emulate it with his own behavior. Ludlow died on November 4, 1997 during a failed attempt to reopen Jurassic Park, shortly before Hammond himself died of natural causes.
Sanjay Masrani and Simon Masrani
In his early days as a businessman, Hammond befriended Indian tech mogul Sanjay Masrani. In the 1970s, both Hammond and Masrani would found companies, Masrani founding Mascom Telecommunications in 1972 and Hammond founding InGen three years later. The two men lived on nearly opposite sides of the world, but maintained a friendship throughout their lives. Hammond also was close with Sanjay’s son Simon. In 1992, Sanjay Masrani passed away, and Hammond stepped in to act as a father figure for Simon.
Their friendship persisted until Hammond’s own death in 1997. During those five years, Masrani took the helm of his father’s company, which was now growing into Masrani Global Corporation. He was with Hammond at the time of his death, and is believed to have been among the last people Hammond ever spoke to. Masrani interpreted Hammond’s dying words to mean that Hammond wanted Masrani to finish his dream of a de-extinction theme park; it is not clear how much creative liberty Masrani took in interpreting Hammond’s statement. Nonetheless, he took it upon himself to honor Hammond’s memory by buying out InGen and taking control of its future. By 2002, construction had begun on a new theme park, Jurassic World, on Isla Nublar.
Dr. Laura Sorkin
Berkeley paleogeneticist Dr. Laura Sorkin was among Hammond’s earliest hires for the Jurassic Park project, as one of the world’s first doctors of paleogenetics. At the Lockwood estate in 1985, she was able to prove that Mesozoic DNA could be extracted from the preserved blood meals of hematophagous organisms trapped in amber. The first dinosaur, a Triceratops, would be cloned on Isla Sorna the following year.
While Hammond placed a great deal of trust in Dr. Sorkin with regards to this secretive project, his faith in her would decline in 1986 after Dr. Henry Wu was hired by InGen. Wu demonstrated that he could recreate species much more quickly than Sorkin by filling in decayed segments of paleo-DNA with compatible genes from modern donor species as opposed to Sorkin’s method of cross-referencing dozens of amber samples for compatible, complementary DNA segments. Although Wu’s methods resulted in genetic anomalies and mutations, Hammond favored Wu’s expediency.
From then on, Dr. Sorkin was relegated to behavioral research; sometime between 1988 and 1993, she was granted a field lab and an assistant named David Banks on Isla Nublar. While her research helped to control the animals in the Park, her work was underfunded and often neglected by Hammond; her journal indicates that supplies were often late to be delivered. Sorkin grew to resent Hammond and his dreams of exhibiting the dinosaurs to the public; she hoped to turn Isla Nublar into a wildlife preserve where the dinosaurs would not be disturbed.
In 1993, Hammond and the Board reviewed Sorkin’s work and found it less than favorable. A species she had cloned, Troodon pectinodon, was found to be undesirable for Park use due to its aggressive stalking behavior, nocturnal habits, and potent venom, and Hammond agreed with the Board that the species should be terminated. Furthermore, Sorkin’s work was listed as pending further review, and she was considered for reassignment to population research on Site B.
Because of the 1993 incident, Dr. Sorkin was never reassigned, although she spent the last day of her life desperately working against Hammond and InGen’s intentions for the dinosaurs, as well as the U.S. military’s orders to destroy them.
Ultimately, after the 1993 incident, Hammond would come to agree with Sorkin’s desire for a de-extinct wildlife refuge and made efforts to create such a refuge on Isla Sorna. Among his last actions while he was alive was to help pen the Gene Guard Act, which put measures in place to protect the dinosaurs in more or less the manner that Dr. Sorkin had advocated.
Dr. Henry Wu
Although Dr. Sorkin laid out the groundwork for de-extinction, Jurassic Park was brought into a new stage of development thanks to the work of Dr. Henry Wu. Having recently graduated the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a doctorate degree in genetics, Wu was hired in 1986 to work on the Jurassic Park project. Within less than a year of being hired, he pioneered novel genetic engineering techniques that provided faster (if less perfect) results than Sorkin. This, and his design for the lysine contingency, resulted in Hammond favoring Wu over Sorkin and promoting him to chief geneticist.
Dr. Wu worked very closely with Hammond during the early Jurassic Park years, and when the project moved to Isla Nublar, Wu went with it. He would have spent time on Isla Sorna as well as Isla Nublar working on perfecting the animals’ genomes; Wu also worked in the hatchery side of the laboratory and would notify Hammond when new animals were preparing to hatch.
Even when it became clear that some of Wu’s products (particularly Velociraptor and Dilophosaurus) were significantly altered due to genetic modification, Hammond fully supported Wu’s work. During the 1993 incident, members of the endorsement tour uncovered evidence of protogyny in certain dinosaurs, which was eventually attributed to the inclusion of Hyperolius viridiflavus DNA. Even then, Hammond continued to support Wu’s work despite the suspension of the Jurassic Park project, and protected him from legal consequences after the events of 1993.
Wu remained a faithful employee to InGen and to Hammond after the incident, continuing research into genetic hybridization inspired by the occurrence of protogyny in his creatures. He had succeeded in engineering a new genus and species of flowering plant by May 1997, though unfortunately Hammond was not healthy enough to come see it himself. With Hammond’s passing shortly after the San Diego incident that year, Wu found more freedom to research than he had before. He violated both United States and international law, as well as Hammond’s dying wishes, to continue genetic research under InGen’s new owner Masrani Global. Ultimately, while Hammond saw Wu as a friend and loyal employee, Wu seems to have viewed Hammond more as a stepping stone for his research.
John Raymond Allen Arnold
Sometime in the mid-to-late 1980s, Hammond hired John “Ray” Arnold to work as Jurassic Park’s chief engineer. Arnold would have been in charge of the Park’s hardware, working alongside programmer Dennis Nedry to ensure that the Park’s technology remained operational. Arnold possessed a no-nonsense personality and took his job very seriously, attributes which made him a valuable employee to Hammond.
During the 1993 incident, Hammond demonstrated a trust in Arnold that was nearly unmatched among his other employees, on par with his faith in Park warden Robert Muldoon. Arnold and Hammond appear to have maintained a good working relationship despite the stresses of their environment and the financial pressure on all of InGen during the early 1990s. Hammond clearly believed that Arnold had the skills to undo the damage wrought by Nedry despite the latter being a superior programmer, thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the Park’s mechanics. Even when Arnold himself admitted that Nedry’s hacking was beyond his skill to undo, Hammond remained confident that his chief engineer could save the Park. Hammond’s confidence in Arnold was not unfounded; had Arnold not perished in a tragic animal attack on June 12, he would likely have succeeded in restoring power to the Park.
Dennis T. Nedry
To design and operate the software of Jurassic Park, Hammond hired Dennis Nedry, a programmer from Cambridge. Nedry’s programming skills were said to be unmatched, and as much as his other chiefs of staff at InGen, Hammond relied on Nedry to make Jurassic Park work.
However, his relationship with Nedry was not nearly as agreeable as some of his other staff. Nedry underbid for the chief programmer position, which eventually led to financial struggles as InGen itself faced economic challenges in the 1990s. Nedry requested a raise from Hammond, but was denied; Hammond believed that Nedry was at fault for underbidding and had not earned the raise. This disagreement led to Nedry resenting Hammond, and Nedry eventually accepted a bribe from one of InGen’s rival corporations to steal trade secrets.
Nedry’s actions directly led to the 1993 incident, which not only caused multiple deaths (including his own) but brought InGen, and Hammond himself, to the brink of bankruptcy. Hammond’s life was forever altered by the incident, both financially and philosophically. However, his economic beliefs do not appear to have been changed by their consequences.
Dr. Gerry Harding
Jurassic Park’s chief veterinarian was Dr. Gerry Harding, hired by John Hammond sometime during or after 1986 out of the San Diego Zoo. Hammond selected Dr. Harding for his history working with large and sometimes carnivorous animals, such as tigers, as this experience would make him an ideal candidate for tending to the dinosaurs.
While most of Hammond’s working relationship with Dr. Harding is unknown, the two appear to have been largely on good terms. Since the health of the dinosaurs was a top priority (and during the 1980s and 1990s, their biology was poorly studied), Dr. Harding would have been a highly valuable employee at Jurassic Park. Although Hammond trusted him with the wellbeing of the animals, Dr. Harding was not privy to all that went on behind closed doors at InGen; for example, he was not informed that a Tylosaurus resided on the island. However, Hammond permitted Dr. Harding to bring his daughter Jess to Isla Nublar on June 11, 1993 so that the two could have family bonding time. Hammond only briefly met Jess during this time.
Following the 1993 incident, Dr. Harding’s opinions on Hammond had changed due to his learning more about secrets that Hammond and InGen had kept from him. These included the existence of classified species, as well as the mistreatment of the Tun-Si tribe during Jurassic Park’s construction. Hammond attempted to rescue Dr. Harding and Jess from the island after he was evacuated himself, but the rescue mission was a disastrous failure; Dr. Harding had to escape the island without Hammond or InGen’s assistance. Following this, Dr. Harding left his position at InGen. Whether he maintained any relationship with Hammond after this is unknown.
During the 1993 investigation into the viability of Jurassic Park, InGen employed legal consultant Donald Gennaro to assess the Park’s liabilities. Hammond already had a general dislike for lawyers, and therefore was prejudiced against Gennaro since before they met. Hammond failed to show at a planned meeting with Gennaro at the Mano de Dios mine in the Dominican Republic, where they were meant to discuss the endorsement tour.
Upon actually traveling to Isla Nublar on June 11, Gennaro and Hammond continued to butt heads; Gennaro was skeptical that the Park was viable at all and was fairly confident that it would be shut down after the weekend. Hammond dismissed Gennaro’s threats, and ultimately won Gennaro’s support by showing him the dinosaurs in the flesh. From that point onward, Gennaro was supportive of the Park, realizing how immensely profitable it could be.
But this did not mend the conflict between Gennaro and Hammond. Over lunch, Gennaro suggested exorbitantly high ticket prices to the Park, which Hammond strongly disagreed with. Hammond openly insulted Gennaro during the discussion, referring to him as a “blood-sucking lawyer” despite the fact that Gennaro now supported Hammond’s venture. Gennaro tolerated Hammond’s slights and did not retort.
During the tour, Gennaro had relatively few comments to make, having already been convinced to support the Park. After the Park was sabotaged, Gennaro was the first casualty of the incident; his death was confirmed to Hammond by Muldoon and Dr. Sattler. Likely due to the immediate threat to his grandchildren, Hammond made no comment on Gennaro’s death during the incident.
Other InGen employees
Between 1975 and 1997, John Hammond employed hundreds of workers at InGen both directly and indirectly. Company morale, for the most part, seems to have been positive under his leadership, though a fair number of employees voiced complaints about salary level and safety. InGen employed dozens of security personnel, scientists, construction workers, graphic design artists, and other associates. Hammond worked to varying degrees with many of them.
Prior to the June 11-13 1993 incident, at least one employee death (a Jurassic Park worker named Jophrey Brown) occurred during Hammond’s time as CEO. Though a $20,000,000 lawsuit resulted from the death, workers at the Park continued about their duties essentially unaltered. Among the staff members, only warden Robert Muldoon appeared to be affected by the death. Other employees worked on as usual despite the ongoing safety investigation, operating as though the Park was opening without delay. This suggests a generally positive view of Hammond and of Jurassic Park overall among InGen employees.
Hammond shared power at InGen with the Board of Directors. While the Board was originally supportive of Jurassic Park, they eventually grew weary of Hammond’s whims and the expenses of building the Park. Following the mauling and death of Jophrey Brown, the Board grew seriously skeptical about the viability of the Park and mandated endorsement from outside experts before progress could continue. Nonetheless, some Board members remained optimistic about the Park until the incident on June 11-13 convinced them otherwise. Over the next four years, the Board attempted to wrest power from the increasingly environmentalist Hammond, who sought to prevent Isla Sorna’s de-extinct creatures from being used in future versions of Jurassic Park. The Board found their opportunity in December 1996, when a young girl vacationing with her family was wounded by InGen animals. Hammond was deposed as CEO and President by InGen Corporate Resolution 213C by unanimous vote in late 1997, though some Board members (particularly Mr. Nicholas) were reluctant to vote in favor of the resolution.
Among InGen’s sources of amber was the Mano de Dios mine, the only confirmed source of Mesozoic amber in the Dominican Republic. John Hammond worked closely with the mine’s proprietor, Juanito Rostagno; it is unknown if their relationship was unique or if Hammond was similarly close with other mine owners. Rostagno and Hammond appear to have had a friendship based around a shared love of showmanship and geobiology, as well as a shared dislike of inspections and lawyers. Hammond was planned to meet with Gennaro and Rostagno at the mine in June 1993 to discuss the upcoming endorsement tour, though Hammond failed to show.
Dr. Alan Grant
Among the paleontologists who Hammond funded for research and fossil material was Dr. Alan Grant, a vertebrate paleontologist from the Museum of the Rockies specializing in deinonychosaurian paleobiology. Grant and Hammond did not personally meet until June 7, 1993 when Hammond personally traveled to Snakewater, Montana to visit him. Hammond made a dramatic first impression, sweeping into the dig site via helicopter and taking the liberty of opening the team’s celebratory bottle of champagne which they had been saving for a special occasion. The purpose of the meeting was to invite Grant to Isla Nublar as a part of the Jurassic Park endorsement tour; Grant was not specifically informed what manner of wildlife preserve the Park was, but with a further three years of InGen funding promised if he agreed, he did not hesitate to take Hammond’s offer despite his initial irritation with Hammond’s grand entrance.
Grant, as well as his partner Dr. Ellie Sattler, was Hammond’s contribution to the endorsement team; legal consultant Donald Gennaro had provided the “trendy” mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm. Grant’s opinion as a paleontologist, particularly his expertise on raptors, was highly valued by Hammond as he hoped Grant would appreciate what he had done on Isla Nublar.
While Grant was initially astonished that Hammond had accomplished de-extinction, he began to worry when he learned Velociraptors had been bred on the island. Hammond tried to reassure Grant that the Park was safe, but Grant was no longer convinced. During the group’s lunch, Grant remained ambivalent about the Park, neither approving of it like Gennaro or dismissing its value like Malcolm. Hammond took Grant’s ambivalence as opposition, and hoped that the tour would change his mind.
During the tour, Grant remained excited about seeing the dinosaurs despite his concerns about the raptors. He was able to meet a Triceratops, his childhood favorite, though Hammond was frustrated that they were only able to see a sick animal. When the tour was rerouted due to inclement weather, an act of sabotage caused the vehicles to stall near the tyrannosaur paddock; Hammond’s frustration turned to concern as the situation worsened. Concerned for his grandchildren’s safety, he put his faith in Grant’s paleontological expertise to help them avoid danger.
The following day, Dr. Sattler was able to locate Dr. Grant at the visitor compound. Once again, Hammond trusted the safety of his grandchildren to Grant along with Sattler, as the scientists armed themselves to rescue the children from marauding Velociraptors. Grant briefly contacted Hammond from the Visitors’ Centre control room, informing him that the Park’s systems had been restored; they were cut off due to a raptor attack. Hammond quickly gathered the wounded Malcolm and took a jeep to the Visitors’ Centre, rescuing Grant, Sattler, and his grandchildren and fleeing to the helipad where escape waited for them. Hammond hesitated to leave the island, unable to admit that his dream had failed; it was Grant, ultimately, who comforted him and helped him into the helicopter.
Despite their differing philosophical views and ambitions, Hammond’s opinion of Grant was one of deep respect and admiration. Even when it was clear that they fundamentally disagreed on the treatment of nature within the Park, Hammond valued Grant’s viewpoints and considered him a highly important member of the endorsement team. He did not, however, conscript Grant into the 1997 mission to Isla Sorna; it is unknown if they remained in contact at all after the 1993 incident.
Dr. Ellie Sattler
Paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler was not originally planned to be a part of the 1993 endorsement team, and Hammond was not initially familiar with her as he was with her partner and colleague Dr. Alan Grant. He did, however, fund her research since she and Grant worked together. Upon his arrival to their dig site near Snakewater, Montana, his dramatic first impression upset Sattler due to the unexpected intrusion and potential damage to valuable fossil remains. However, when she learned that their visitor was the mysterious InGen CEO who funded their work, she welcomed him in surprise. He extended Grant’s invitation to Isla Nublar to her as well, mentioning that the opinions of a paleobotanist would be valued. She and Grant were joined by legal consultant Donald Gennaro, who had recruited mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm for the endorsement tour.
Like the other members of the tour, Sattler was originally astonished that Hammond and InGen had accomplished de-extinction. Witnessing the adult Velociraptors at feeding time, though, sobered her; she began to express doubts about the Park, and criticized InGen’s use of toxic plants as decoration. Her excitement returned during the tour of the facility; she stayed behind with a sick Triceratops when the tour was postponed due to inclement weather. As a result, she was returned to the Visitors’ Centre while the other tour members became stranded in the Park.
When it became obvious that things had gone wrong on Isla Nublar, Sattler volunteered to retrieve Grant and the others, including Hammond’s grandchildren. She was unable to recover them, as they had fled the area, but confirmed Gennaro’s death and rescued a badly wounded Dr. Malcolm. During the night of June 11, she was the only one in a position to criticize Hammond’s lack of control over the Park, and his hubris in believing he did have control; ultimately, though, she sympathized with him.
On June 12, Sattler worked with the Jurassic Park staff including Hammond to restart the Park and rescue the survivors. Despite Hammond’s insistence that she remain in the safety of the emergency bunker, she ventured out with Park warden Robert Muldoon to restart power. Hammond, with Malcolm’s help, guided her through the maintenance shed via radio to the circuit breakers; from here, power was restored.
Sattler returned to the emergency bunker having lost Muldoon to escaped raptors, but having found Dr. Grant alive. Hammond entrusted her, as well as Grant, with rescuing his grandchildren from the raptors and saw them off to the Visitors’ Centre for a final time. The systems were successfully restored, and Hammond made haste with Dr. Malcolm to the Visitors’ Centre in a jeep to take Sattler and the others to safety. Together, they were able to escape Isla Nublar alive.
Although Hammond’s views on gender roles were indicative of the era in which he came of age, he clearly did have genuine respect for Dr. Sattler as a scientist, and mentioned so on multiple occasions. He did protest her active role in the more dangerous parts of the incident, but ultimately worked together with her to restore the Park and save his grandchildren. It is unknown if they remained in contact after the incident; he did not conscript her into his 1997 operation to save Isla Sorna, instead reaching out to paleobiologist Dr. Sarah Harding.
Dr. Ian Malcolm
Hammond’s relationship to chaos theory mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm is an involved and sometimes contentious one. He was one of the scientists chosen to evaluate Jurassic Park in June 1993, and of all the members of the tour group, Malcolm was the only one who appears to have been briefed about exactly what Jurassic Park was. This is likely because Hammond did not select him personally; he was instead contacted by legal consultant Donald Gennaro.
Malcolm was immediately skeptical that InGen had accomplished what they claimed. Even if de-extinction was a fact, he doubted that the results could be accurately predicted, controlled, and contained. He openly expressed these doubts to Hammond on the journey to Isla Nublar on June 11, but was still astonished to discover that InGen really had brought living things back from extinction.
Of all the members of the tour group, Malcolm was the most consistently opposed to Jurassic Park, and in fact to many forms of scientific progress. This put him strongly at odds with Hammond, who explicitly claimed to hate Malcolm in private at one point. Hammond did not believe in chaos theory, Malcolm’s field of expertise, particularly the idea that Jurassic Park contained too many variables to adequately maintain.
Malcolm was severely wounded during the incident that began the evening of June 11, during which an act of sabotage released animals from their paddocks. Despite their disagreements, Hammond ensured that Malcolm received proper medical treatment and would survive the night, but he needed a hospital if he were to live. During the following day, Malcolm still opposed Hammond’s vision and criticized his ambitions, but as circumstances grew more dire, the two were forced to put aside their quarrels in order to ensure the Park could be restored enough for them to escape the island at all.
Malcolm was evacuated from the island along with the others in the morning of June 12 after power was restored and the survivors regrouped at the Visitors’ Centre. Hammond himself drove Malcolm from the emergency bunker to meet the others and escape. While Malcolm sustained permanent damage to his leg, he survived after receiving medical treatment at a Costa Rican hospital.
Unlike the other survivors, Malcolm violated his nondisclosure agreement with InGen and spoke openly about his experiences on the island. Following a 1995 television interview in which Malcolm tried to convince the public that Jurassic Park was not a hoax, Hammond’s nephew and employee Peter Ludlow began a smear campaign against Malcolm, turning him into an international laughingstock. If Hammond took any measures to mitigate this or compensate Malcolm, they were insufficient.
This changed in 1997, when Hammond was deposed as CEO of InGen. The Board, no longer confident in Hammond’s leadership abilities, took opportunity to remove him after an incident in which a civilian was injured by dinosaurs on Isla Sorna. Hammond summoned Malcolm to his home in New York to request that he participate in a mission to the island to document the animals, winning the hearts and minds of the public and turning the island into a wildlife preserve. Malcolm was horrified that the animals had survived, despite his own predictions that life would “find a way;” he at first outright refused. Hammond had expected this: he had already conscripted Malcolm’s girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding into the mission, and she was on the island already. This act of manipulation ensured that Malcolm did, in fact, go to Isla Sorna.
Hammond opted not to inform Malcolm that Ludlow was heading his own expedition to the island, placing Malcolm in a position where he unexpectedly had to prevent Ludlow from removing animals from Isla Sorna. For the most part, this was undertaken by Malcolm’s teammates, and Hammond had minimal involvement with this part of the mission. However, Hammond’s sabotage resulted in a bull tyrannosaur being loosed on San Diego, which Drs. Malcolm and Harding risked their lives to contain and return home. Although Malcolm was placed in mortal danger again due to Hammond’s meddling, he was ultimately vindicated in the public eye due to the San Diego incident and once again became a respected public figure. With this last act of redemption, Hammond passed away shortly after.
According to some sources, Malcolm was a key eulogist at Hammond’s funeral in 1997. In Malcolm’s later years, he has developed a respectful disagreement with Hammond’s legacy, advocating for the end of genetic research but not attacking Hammond himself.
Dr. Sarah Harding
When Isla Sorna came under threat in 1997, Hammond orchestrated an expedition to counter that of his nephew and InGen’s new CEO Peter Ludlow. The first member of his team was Dr. Sarah Harding, a paleobiologist and wildlife researcher with extensive experience studying large predators. She was the daughter of his former chief veterinarian, Dr. Gerry Harding, and the first person Malcolm broke his nondisclosure agreement for. Since then, Malcolm had developed a romantic relationship with Harding, which was another reason Hammond selected her.
According to Hammond, Harding was actually the one who first reached out regarding the mission, though it is doubtful that she knew about Hammond’s plans before being told. Hammond’s own testimony suggests that many aspects of the mission were Harding’s idea. However, she was not informed that InGen was planning its own expedition against Hammond’s wishes, and was merely told that she needed to study InGen’s animals in the wild to win over the public and make Isla Sorna a wildlife preserve. Though he clearly did respect her as a scientist, he was sometimes dismissive of her abilities due to his outdated view of gender roles.
Harding left for Isla Sorna ahead of the other team members, and before Malcolm had even been contacted. She was not in touch with Hammond during this time, though her presence on the island was instrumental in forcing Malcolm to join the expedition. Independently on the island, Harding came to approve of Hammond’s sabotage attempt and actively joined her colleague Nick Van Owen in freeing captured animals from the InGen Harvester encampment on November 2. Her interference ultimately led to the San Diego incident in the early morning of November 4, which brought de-extinction into the public eye. Hammond died shortly after this, knowing that Harding had accomplished his mission.
For his November 1997 counter-expedition to Isla Sorna, Hammond needed an equipment specialist to ensure his team had the accommodations, communication, and safety required for the mission. For this, he contacted Eddie Carr, an engineer specializing in field equipment. Carr was briefed on Isla Sorna and the reality of de-extinction, which until that point had been the realm of conspiracy theories. Hammond did not inform Carr that InGen’s new CEO Peter Ludlow would be operating on the island as well; as far as Carr was concerned, the mission was only to document Isla Sorna’s de-extinct animals in order to convince the public to support making the island a wildlife preserve.
Like the other members of Hammond’s team, Carr was not actually in contact with Hammond during the expedition. After leaving for Isla Sorna ahead of schedule at Dr. Ian Malcolm’s insistence, Carr would in fact never speak with Hammond again. He would die after less than a day on the island during an effort to rescue his fellow expedition members.
Nick Van Owen
Hammond’s 1997 documentation mission to Isla Sorna included a total of four members (as well as Kelly Malcolm, who was a stowaway), but only one team member was given the full briefing: international Nightline documentarian and environmental activist Nick Van Owen. Hammond selected Van Owen for the mission ostensibly for his experience filming in hazardous conditions; he had operated as a wartime videographer during multiple conflicts in various countries, and so would be well-suited for whatever might happen on Isla Sorna. However, Hammond had other reasons for selecting Van Owen. He alone was informed that InGen’s new CEO Peter Ludlow was also orchestrating a mission to the island, to capture the now-feral dinosaurs and exhibit them in San Diego. If Ludlow was able to secure the animals before Van Owen’s footage of dinosaurs in the wild reached the public, Van Owen was to sabotage Ludlow by any means necessary. Van Owen agreed, believing that the dinosaurs should have the right to live in the wild the same as naturally-extant creatures.
Van Owen did not disclose his true role in the mission to his teammates immediately, only doing so after Ludlow had already gained the upper hand. As Hammond instructed, Van Owen sabotaged Ludlow’s camp, releasing the animals and cutting their vehicles’ fuel lines. Inadvertently, InGen’s communication equipment was destroyed in this effort. Van Owen also took it upon himself to intervene and rescue an injured juvenile tyrannosaur, which led to Hammond’s team suffering the loss of all of their own equipment and the life of Eddie Carr. Furthermore, Van Owen prevented an adult tyrannosaur from being killed by Ludlow’s lead hunter Roland Tembo by stealing his bullets.
Once the mission was compromised by the loss of their communication equipment, Van Owen turned pragmatic, helping both groups escape the island. He did not continue to participate in the mission after this; it is unknown where he went after leaving Isla Sorna. Books published in 2018 have stated that the InGen team was sabotaged by unknown persons, so Hammond did not disclose Van Owen’s role in the dinosaurs’ release to anyone publicly.
Due to his business career and participation in controversial sciences, Hammond had extensive involvement with various governmental entities. Originally from Scotland and having done business throughout the United Kingdom, Hammond eventually immigrated to the United States by 1975 and would have dealt with the U.S. government for this purpose. He also dealt with the Costa Rican government on a number of occasions; in 1982, he leased from them the Muertes Archipelago and Isla Sorna in particular. In 1985, he attempted to add Isla Nublar to this lease. The government was able to ask a higher price from InGen by enlisting a local Bribri awa of the Cruz family to describe Isla Nublar’s natural wonders. Both InGen and the Costa Rican government failed to provide the displaced people of the island with the shelter, medicine, and education that were promised them.
Operations on the islands continued until 1993, when a serious incident on Isla Nublar caused the island to be abandoned. Isla Sorna was abandoned later that year due to a combination of InGen’s financial crisis and Hurricane Clarissa. When a survivor of the incident, Dr. Ian Malcolm, violated his nondisclosure agreement and spoke about Jurassic Park, the Costa Rican government supported InGen in denying that de-extinction had been accomplished.
Despite the incidents, InGen’s lease of the islands was still valid, and Hammond was considered responsible for another incident that occurred on Isla Sorna in December of 1996. This led to the Board of Directors removing him from his position in late 1997; the fate of Isla Sorna in particular then hung in the balance. The Costa Rican government is not known to have taken any action regarding this. When the general public learned that de-extinction was not a hoax as was widely believed, Hammond urged both the Costa Rican and U.S. governments to step in and protect Isla Sorna; they, along with the United Nations, upheld this agreement. In particular, Hammond and key InGen officials worked with the United States House Committee of Science to write the Ethical Negligence in Paleo-Genetic Resurrection Bill, or Gene Guard Act, to protect de-extinct life.
Following Hammond’s death, the United Nations has upheld its promise to protect Isla Sorna, but incidents have still occurred there. The U.S. government, on the other hand, saw bribery and corruption weaken the Gene Guard Act leading to a rollback in 2003 which allowed InGen to resume operations legally. Even before this, the U.S. government had turned its back on illegal activity occurring on Isla Sorna, with certain officials bribed by InGen officials to ignore evidence of the crime. The Costa Rican government has been a mixed bag of upholding and failing to uphold Hammond’s wishes, allowing InGen to operate more or less freely among the islands while departments within the government disagree on issues of de-extinct animal rights.
While Hammond has caused his fair share of controversy, his neglect for the wellbeing of the Tun-Si tribe is generally considered his most morally bankrupt act. The Tun-Si are a tribe of Bribri people who lived on Isla Nublar, or Guà-Si in their native language, for thousands of years before European discovery. Due to the island’s remote location, they were not harmed by colonization as extensively as peoples living on the mainland, though some were displaced for various reasons beginning in the sixteenth century. In 1985, Hammond entered into talks with the Costa Rican government to add Isla Nublar to his 99-year lease on other Costa Rican islands InGen had taken out in 1982. The government enlisted the help of a Tun-Si awa of the Cruz family who had come to live on the mainland with his daughter Nima and granddaughter Atlanta to help sell Isla Nublar for a higher price, which InGen accepted.
Between 1985 and 1987, the Tun-Si tribe was forcibly evicted from their ancestral home, sometimes with the help of mercenaries such as Oscar Morales. Displaced to the mainland, the Tun-Si were promised homes, medicine, and education by Hammond and InGen. However, when they arrived to their new residences, they found that they were to live in slums, the medicine was contaminated or missing altogether, and the schools had no staff. This neglect was never addressed by Hammond, and led to Nima Cruz joining one of InGen’s corporate rivals to sabotage Jurassic Park.
The Tun-Si tribe would not receive any form of reparations or justice until much later. Jurassic World, under the direction of Hammond’s friend Simon Masrani, returned some of their ancestral land to them and acknowledged their role in Isla Nublar’s history. However, they never regained all of their original home, and much of it was irreparably altered. The closure of Jurassic World in 2015 cemented their loss of the island as Masrani Global abandoned Isla Nublar, and the eruption of Mount Sibo three years later effectively ended any hope of their safe return to the island.
Hammond considered himself a philanthropist, believing that all the people of the world deserved to see Jurassic Park and its animals. Though he wanted the Park to be financially accessible, he still chose to relocate it from San Diego to Isla Nublar, where it would be more expensive to reach. Hammond does not seem to have realized this hypocrisy and considered Jurassic Park to be accessible to the average person.
As a showman, Hammond had a strong relationship with his consumers and desired to show them things that would astonish and enthrall them. Without a steady flow of visitors, his parks would never succeed. These included not only the theoretical Jurassic Park, but his earlier ventures such as Petticoat Lane in the U.K. and Animal Kingdom in Nairobi, Kenya. Jurassic Park, had it opened, would have been the crown jewel of his career.
Hammond is known to have worked with celebrities at times, such as Richard Kiley, who provided the narration on the original Jurassic Park tour.
Hammond remained a mostly mysterious figure to many members of the public, which suited his persona. Rumors of de-extinct dinosaurs only augmented this image after 1993. Those who discovered the truth, such as the Bowman family, were silenced by InGen with large sums of money. Hammond’s mystery would somewhat come to a close shortly before his death in 1997. Knowing that InGen would attempt to reopen Jurassic Park’s original San Diego location, Hammond attempted to create a documentary film about the animals living in the wild on Isla Sorna in the hopes that the public would pressure InGen into leaving them be and making the island into a wildlife preserve. While his original plan failed, the San Diego incident effectively ended InGen’s efforts at reopening Jurassic Park anyway, and Hammond was able to urge the public to leave Isla Sorna alone.
Despite his dying wishes for InGen’s animals, the public remembers Hammond mostly for his earlier ambitions with Jurassic Park. This is reflected in much of his portrayal in Jurassic World, which depicts a John Hammond who would have wanted the Park to reopen after all. Much of this is due to the efforts of Simon Masrani, who seems to have genuinely believed that Hammond wanted the Park to succeed even in his dying days. Hammond’s image in the public memory will, as a result, always hark back to the mysterious entrepreneur, a legendary figure responsible for bringing dinosaurs to life, and not the avid non-intervention environmentalist he became in his last years.
Though de-extinction is not the accomplishment of one single person, John Hammond is considered to be the father of Jurassic Park. Without his ambition, de-extinction may never have been accomplished, or at the very least would have not happened as soon as it did. Securing Site B, hiring Drs. Sorkin and Wu, and conceptualizing Jurassic Park as a whole are all attributable to John Hammond.
The first dinosaur to be cloned was a Triceratops, which hatched on Isla Sorna in 1986. This was followed by other species such as Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus; Hammond showed great enthusiasm for his creatures and proudly boasted of their size, strength, and vitality. In particular, the Tyrannosaurus is sometimes cited as his favorite dinosaur; seven of these creatures were hatched on Isla Sorna between 1988 and 1993. Two were destined for Isla Nublar, but only one was there by 1993, though this was the oldest and largest specimen and Hammond was extremely proud of the animal.
During the 1993 tour, Hammond claimed to have been present for the hatching of every creature on Isla Nublar; at the time he helped a hatchling Velociraptor emerge from its egg, claiming that the animals imprint on him and therefore trust him. However, most of the Isla Nublar animals were actually hatched originally on Isla Sorna. While Hammond may indeed have been present for every Isla Nublar hatching, this does not necessarily mean he was there for the hatching of every animal that eventually came to reside on Isla Nublar.
Hammond loved most of the animals his scientists created, but he still viewed them as resources and a source of income. He sought to control their behavior, attempting to get them to perform for visitors and preventing them from reproducing naturally. Because of his efforts at control, and InGen’s lack of knowledge of the animals’ behavior, some of them suffered in captivity. The Tyrannosaurus, for example, lacked any real stimulation other than eating tethered goats; this was criticized by Dr. Alan Grant during the 1993 tour.
Even though Hammond approved of many potentially dangerous species (the highly intelligent pack-hunting Velociraptor and fatally venomous Dilophosaurus come to mind), he had his limits. When the raptors proved too dangerous for their planned exhibit, he approved their replacement with Herrerasaurus, which he thought would be safer due to its lesser intelligence. The only species he is known to have disapproved of entirely was Troodon pectinodon, an animal which combines high intelligence and social behavior with lethal venom. These, along with its nocturnal behavior and perceived ugly appearance, led to Hammond supporting the euthanasia of the entire species.
By 1997, Hammond’s view of the dinosaurs had gone from capitalist to naturalist. Having been changed by the 1993 incident, he no longer sought to control or contain the animals but instead wanted to protect and preserve them. His environmentalist views led to InGen losing faith in him, but he was willing to take this fall if it meant protecting the animals. His 1997 expedition to Isla Sorna, which he could not partake in due to his poor health, is considered to be the first major development in the modern de-extinct animal rights movement, with Hammond’s Gatherer team being a predecessor to organizations such as the Dinosaur Protection Group.
Dr. John Hammond was portrayed by Lord Richard Attenborough. He is loosely based on the character of the same name from Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel. Many aspects of Hammond’s character were altered by director Steven Spielberg, who opted not to use Crichton’s “dark side of Disney” portrayal due to Spielberg’s empathizing with Hammond’s showman personality. For the film, Hammond’s characterization was made more jovial and sympathetic, and his more unlikable personality traits were toned down or eliminated. His survival at the end of the film, while averted in some scripts, also differs from the novel (in which Hammond is eaten alive by Procompsognathus). The presence of Hammond in the second film causes major differences in the plot, causing it to only somewhat resemble the book it is based on.
John Hammond appears only in the first two films, but is directly referenced in all of the subsequent films. A statue of Hammond which appears in Jurassic World commemorates his character as well as the late Attenborough, who passed away one year before the film’s release.