Saturday, November 25, 2006
From today's Washington Post:
H. Donald Wilson, 82, under whose leadership the commercial database service LexisNexis introduced electronic research to law firms and news organizations, died of a heart attack Nov. 12 in front of his computer at his home in Mitchellville.
From 1969 to 1973, Mr. Wilson was the first president of Mead Data Central, which developed LexisNexis, a database of information for law firms, businesses, libraries and the news industry....
At first, many lawyers refused to use the software, regarding computer work as a secretarial job. In order to spur adoption of the product, Mr. Wilson gave law students almost free access to electronic files of court decisions, so that when they graduated, the young associates at law firms immediately asked their employers: "Where's your Lexis?" Zurkowski said. Mr. Wilson also realized that tax lawyers and those in other specialized fields were more likely to do their own research, and he focused the company's early efforts in those areas...