A fictional character by Robert A. Heinlein.

Lazarus Long was born Woodrow Wilson Smith (after American President Woodrow Wilson) in 1912 to Maureen Johnson (then Maureen Smith) and Brian Smith. He was the fifth of many Smith children. “Woodie,” as he was then affectionately called, was Maureen’s favorite, and she later admitted she did not punish him as often as she should have.

When Lazarus switched schools in late adolescence, he began to take flying lessons. He spent much of his early adult life flying planes, although it is uncertain in which capacity during wartime. He married Heather Smith, and he would stop by whenever it was time for her to be impregnated—-about once every two years.

Under the name Bill Smith, Lazarus served as the relief pilot for Leslie LeCroix for the first manned trip to the moon. LeCroix, however, was healthy and able to pilot the flight.

Little is known about Lazarus Long’s exploits until he commandeered the spaceship New Frontiers. This was due to a period of persecution of the Howard Families after they ended the Masquerade and revealed their unusual longevity to the world at large.

Under the leadership of Lazarus and other Howards, including Andrew Jackson Libby, the exiled Howard families went on a couple of interplanetary adventures. These included the land of the “Lotus Eaters” where Elder Mary Sperling, to whom Lazarus had grown close, ultimately resided in a much-changed form.

When the New Frontiers returned to Terra, Lazarus was the oldest man alive according to Howard Foundation records. Fueled by political necessity, Earth scientists developed primitive rejuvenation techniques that were able to extend the life of all humans, and allowed the non-Howards to welcome back the Howard peoples.

However, Lazarus Long ultimately led a Howard emigration off earth to the planet Secundus. The following centuries were filled with many adventures and voyages for Lazarus, and he helped to colonize several planets. In the 43rd century, Ira Weatheral, Chairman Pro Tempore of the planet Secondus, elicited Lazarus’ help in colonizing a new planet, Tellus Tertius (Third Earth). While Lazarus was at first reluctant, he agreed when Ishtar Hardy and Ira’s daughter Hamadryad both gave birth to female clones of Lazarus.

When those clones—Lapis Lazuli and Lorelei Lee (see Laz and Lor)—reached adulthood, Lazarus attempted a trip back in time to 1916, where he met his mother in the incarnation of Theodore Bronson. While Corporal Bronson was recorded as MIA in World War I, Lazarus was rescued and returned to his present by his family.

Lazarus later enlisted the help of Captain Hilda Burroughs and her crew of the Gay Deceiver to rescue his mother during her supposed death in a car accident. The operation was successful, but the discovery of Pantheistic Eschatological Multiple-Ego Solipsism, or World-as-Myth, prompted him to found the Time Corps, who would patrol the various time lines.

Lazarus went on several Time Corps missions, including the procurement of the Holmes IV computer, Adam Selene, and the rescue of his grandfather, Ira Johnson, from the Battle of Britain. Lazarus is still doing missions for the Time Corps, and if the predictions of Dr. Pinero can be trusted, he will continue to do so forever.


Lazarus Long appears in Methuselah's Children, Time Enough for Love, The Number of the Beast, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. He is also known as Woodrow Wilson Smith, Ernest Gibbons, Capt. (or Commodore) Aaron Sheffield, "Happy" Daze, Mr. Justice Lenox, Dr. Lafayette Hubert, and many other names. Contrary to the back cover of my edition of Time Enough for Love, he was not so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor; that's a different Heinlein character.

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