Born, raised, and educated in Montana, Jack Horner is one of the best known paleontologists in the world. Although spending seven years at the University of Montana Jack does not hold any formal degrees, but has two honorary doctorates of science, one from the University of Montana and the other from Penn State. In 1975, he was hired as a research assistant in the Museum of Natural History at Princeton University, where he worked until 1982. From 1982 until the present he is the Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, and is widely acknowledged to be the inspiration for the main character in the book and film Jurassic Park.
His early paleontological discoveries include the first evidence of parental care in dinosaurs, the first baby dinosaurs in nests, the first dinosaur embryos, and the first evidence that dinosaurs returned to specific nesting areas over long periods of time. Jack's more recent studies concern how dinosaur skulls changed shape as the animals grew from babies to adults, some so drastically that juveniles and adults were thought to have been different species. In addition to his research, Jack was the technical advisor for all four Jurassic Park movies, and has advised on other movies and television programs involving dinosaurs.
Horner has published more than 300 professional papers, eight popular books including Dinosaurs Under the Big Sky, a children's book, Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up, a non-fiction book on dinosaurs from Montana, Dinosaur Lives, and numerous published articles, and two technical books.
He is currently retired from Montana State University where he was Regent's Professor and Curator of Paleontology. He now works part-time as a Presidential Scholar and lecturer at Chapman University in Orange, California where he teaches creative thinking. His awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a golden plate from the American Academy of Achievement, and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.