Born in Cincinnati, Spielberg was raised by parents Leah and Arnold in Ohio before his family moved to Arizon when he was three. As a child, the boy found he had an innate interest in film and began shooting home movies at the age 12. Spielberg continued to pursue his passion during his teenage years and even used filmmaking to help him advance his career as a Boy Scout.
After high school, Spielberg moved to Los Angeles in order to begin a career in film. He attended California State University and even interned with Universal Studios for a short period of time.
Spielberg’s first professional gig came in 1968 when he was hired to direct a segment for the pilot of Night Gallery. He worked with actress Joan Crawford on the shoot, and she initially hesitated to work with Spielberg because of his age. However, his talent soon turned his attitude around.
The director would go on to on dozens of projects before he hit his stride with countless blockbusters. In 1975, Spielberg made it big in Hollywood with the release of Jaws. Two years later, the director debuted Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Other films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial would follow.
In later years, Spielberg would direct his attention to humanistic plights in favor of large-scale thrillers. He helmed films like The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, War Horse, Lincoln, and Bride of Spies.
And, of course, millions of fans are also familiar with his work on franchises like Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds.
Today, Spielberg is regarded as one of the world’s greatest directors and entertainment visionaries. He’s received numerous awards for his films and earned Academy Awards for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan as well.
Happy birthday, Steven Spielberg! We hope it’s a great one.