Biography of Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is an Academy Award winning director and co-founder of the studio Dreamworks SKG. He is famous for works such as Schindler's List, E.T.:The Extra-terrestrial, Back to the Future, and Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg has been nominated for 13 Academy Awards and has won three.

Spielberg was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, OH to a Jewish family. He has said that he experienced anti-Semitic prejudice early in life. He was an amateur filmmaker in his teens and won an award at age 13 for a 40-minute film called Escape to Nowhere. At age 16, he created his first independent film, Firelight, the inspiration for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He moved several times before finishing high school in Saratoga, California. He attended California State University, Long Beach.

As an intern at Universal Studios, Spielberg made a short film entitled Amblin' (1968). After the studio's Vice President of Production saw the film, Spielberg was made the youngest ever television director at Universal Studios. After directing a successful television film, Duel (1972), Spielberg had the opportunity to move into cinema.

Spielberg's films have ranged from fantasy to history to literary adaptations. His most famous works include Jaws (1975); Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977); ET (1982); The Color Purple (1985); Back to the Future (1985); the Indiana Jones films; Hook (1991); and Jurassic Park (1993). He won the Academy Award for Best Director for both Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

In 1994, along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, Spielberg founded a new studio, Dreamworks SKG. In 2001, he completed the science fiction film, AI: Artificial Intelligence. The studio later produced the Academy Award nominated film Munich (2005) and Clint Eastwood’s films Flags of our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima 2006.

Spielberg is the most commercially successful director of all time. He has won numerous awards besides his three Academy Awards. He received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1986, the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and the French Legion of Honor. In 2005, Spielberg was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.


Study Guides on Works by Steven Spielberg

The biggest grossing movie released in June 1974 was Chinatown. That very dark update of film noir featuring one of the most intricate plots in Hollywood grossed 23 million dollars which was a good 12 million dollars less than the biggest grossing...

Released in 1993, Schindler's List is a film that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saves the lives of over a thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust in World War II. The film is adapted from the book Schindler’s Ark...