Steven Allan Spielberg

portrait of Steven Spielberg
At San Diego Conic-Con Int'l, portrait by Gerald Geronimo (22 July 2011)
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Born: 18 December 1946, Cincinnati, Ohio

Spielberg's Jewish parents were Leah Adler, a restaurateur and concert pianist and Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer. He grew up in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and Scottsdale, Arizona. It was in Scottsdale that he joined the Boy Scouts, earning a photography merit badge with an 8mm short called The Last Gunfight. Years later he resigned from a national advisory position with the Boy Scouts over their discrimination against homosexuals. His parents divorced and he moved to Saratoga, California with his father, graduating from high school there in 1965. He applied to USC's film school three times, but his "C" grade average sent him to California State University at Long Beach instead. He was able to wrangle an internship at Universal Studios and didn't bother to attend classes. In 1994 USC granted him an honorary degree, in 1996 he became a trustee, but he kept plugging away on correspondence classes and earned his B.A. in Film Production and Electronic Arts in 2002. In lieu of the required senior film, the school accepted a print of Schindler's List. He donned the normal cap and gown for graduation and the band struck up the theme music from Indiana Jones when it was his time to cross the stage. Spielberg may be this generations most powerful story teller, and neck and neck with George Lucas for the wealthiest. Four of his movies set all-time box-office records. He directed one Oscar-winning movie (Schindler's List), he took the Oscar for Best Director twice (Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan), has directed nine actors in Oscar-nominated roles, and bought three Oscars at auction to protect them from exploitation. Germany gave him the Federal Cross of Merit for his accurate depiction of history in Schindler's List, French president Jacques Chirac presented him with the Légion d'honneur, and Queen Elizabeth made him an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire but because he isn't a British subject he is not allowed to call himself Sir Steven. Along with a host of film and entertainment industry awards and Kennedy Center honors in 2004, he has received honorary degrees from several universities. He regards E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Schindler's List as his best work.

Biography from Wikipedia and IMDB

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