Awarded: April 2000
(b. Dec. 18, 1946)
A lifelong cinema buff, Steven Spielberg began directing his first short movies while still a child. He studied film at California State University and won notice for his 1969 short feature “Amblin.” He graduated to big-budget blockbusters with the release of “Star Wars,” which he co-created with George Lucas. His 1977 “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was another huge success, employing state-of-the-art special effects. In the 1980s, he released “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and several successful sequels. In the 1990s, he released the global blockbuster “Jurassic Park.” That same year he released “Schindler’s List,” a docudrama set in the Holocaust. He received seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for this film.