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John Singleton

John Singleton

Biography
Screenwriter, Producer, Director (1968–2019)
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Screenwriter and director John Singleton's 'Boyz n the Hood' led to an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, making him the first African-American to earn the distinction.

Who Was John Singleton?

John Singleton was born on January 6, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. His 1991 feature film debut, Boyz n the Hood, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Singleton followed the win with Poetic Justice in 1993 and Higher Learning in 1995. Subsequent works include 1997's Rosewood, 2000's Shaft remake and 2001's Baby Boy. In 2005, he produced Hustle & Flow and directed Four Brothers. The filmmaker died on April 29, 2019, after suffering a stroke.

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Profile

John Daniel Singleton was born on January 6, 1968, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles and his work as a film director, producer and screenwriter depicted these turbulent, often violent roots.

Singleton studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, winning three writing awards from the university, which led to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year.

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02:  Ranking member U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he testifies at a hearing on receiving 'the Monetary Policy Report to the Congress required under the Humphrey-Hawkins Act' at the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. Bernanke reportedly defended the Federal Reserves monetary policy against criticism from Republicans.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Barney Frank

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02:  Actor  Ben Whishaw attends the 48th New York Film Festival premiere of 'The Tempest' at Alice Tully Hall on October 2, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben Whishaw

Ben Whishaw

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Tammy Baldwin

In 1991, Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz n the Hood and budgeted it at $7 million. The film portrayed life in crime-ridden South Central L.A. and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 1991, making Singleton the first African-American and the youngest person ever nominated for the award. The film also garnered a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Singleton followed the win with Poetic Justice in 1993 and Higher Learning in 1995. Both films examined modern race relations, and while they enjoyed success at the box office, they were not as highly praised by critics as his debut effort. 

Subsequent works include 1997's historical drama Rosewood, 2000's Shaft remake starring Samuel L. Jackson and 2001's Baby Boy. In 2005, he produced the critically acclaimed indie film Hustle & Flow and directed the box office hit Four Brothers.

In April 2019, Singleton suffered a stroke and was placed in a medically induced coma at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He passed away on April 29, 2019.

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