Anthony J. Lawler was born in South Africa in 1939. He had developed a keen interest in aviation from an early age, but in 1952 when the world's first jet airliner, the Comet 1 flew over his home city on a proving flight, his interest was really ignited. He wrote to the BOAC office in Johannesburg asking for a model, and to his great joy he was sent his first professionally made airliner model. In the next seven years he visited all the local airline offices and managed to build a small collection of models. Upon graduation in aeronautical engineering from Bristol University, he joined the sales department of Hawker Siddeley, responsible for marketing the Trident airliner. In 1971 he was seconded to Airbus Industrie to assist in sales of the first wide body twin-jet airliner, the A300, and over the last twenty years he managed sales campaigns for the Airbus airliners in USA. Since retiring in 2004 he has actively pursued his model collecting.