Lou was born in Flushing, N.Y., and came to Princeton from Flushing High School. His undergraduate career was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Army and was stationed in India.
During his career, Lou worked in advertising and writing for Vogue magazine and Scholastic Books. He lived in New York City but spent summers and weekends in his family home in Bridgehampton, where he returned in retirement.
At his funeral, Lou was described as a Renaissance man who was “equally at ease in the metropolis and in the countryside. He could chat with anyone engagingly; take pleasure in any kind of environment.” He is survived by his brother, Nathan Townsend Thayer Jr.