Laurie attended The Perse from 1943-48, as a member of Hillel House, the School’s Jewish boarding house. Following two years’ National Service, he launched a hugely successful business career, with interests in property, film, and theatre. An early project involved him selling plastic mackintoshes following the Second World War; he obtained the official Mickey Mouse design from Disney for these mackintoshes after writing to the corporation himself.
Later on, Laurie devoted himself to philanthropy. Not only was he an extraordinarily generous benefactor of The Perse, he also saved many theatres from closure or demolition, including the Theatre Royal in Bath. He served on the voting committee of the BAFTA awards, and also was a producer on over 75 films. Laurie’s memoir, The Philanthropist’s Tale, was published in 2016, detailing his life as an entrepreneur and his reasons for becoming a philanthropist.