Courson and Morrison met at a lesser-known nightclub called the London Fog on the Sunset Strip in 1965, while she was an art student at Los Angeles City College.
Courson’s relationship with Morrison was tumultuous with loud arguments and repeated infidelities by both partners. For a time, Courson operated Themis (1969–1971), a fashion boutique that Morrison bought for her with his royalty check from the album Strange Days.
Morrison joined Pamela Courson in Paris in March 1971, at an apartment she had rented for him at 17-19, rue Beautreillis in Le Marais, 4th arrondissement, Paris. In letters, he described going for long walks through the city, alone. During this time, he shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months.
On July 3, 1971, Courson awoke to find Morrison dead in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris. The coroner’s report listed his cause of death as heart failure, although no autopsy was performed. Under Morrison’s will, which stated that he was “an unmarried person”, Courson was named his heir, and therefore in line to inherit his entire fortune.
After Morrison’s death, Courson continued to live in Los Angeles. Former Doors employee Danny Sugerman became friendly with her in Los Angeles during this time and later wrote in Wonderland Avenue about an experience of taking quaaludes and snorting heroin with Courson.
On April 25, 1974, Courson died of a heroin overdose on the living room couch at the Los Angeles apartment she shared with two male friends, at the age of 27, the same age Jim was when he died 3 years earlier.
Several months after her death, her parents inherited her fortune. Jim Morrison’s parents later contested the Coursons’ executorship of the estate, leading to additional legal battles. In 1979, both parties agreed to divide the earnings from Morrison’s estate equally.
American photographer Edmund Teske took these photos that show lovely moments of Jim Morrison and his girlfriend Pamela Courson at Bronson Caves in the Hollywood Hills in 1969.