Francis Ford Coppola is best known as the five-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker of such epic films as the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now (1979). Born in Detroit in 1939, Coppola grew up in Queens, New York. Bedridden with polio as a child, he developed an interest in film after being given a toy movie projector. A prolific theater and film student at Hofstra University and UCLA, he first made his mark as the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Patton (1970), and followed it up with the Godfather films, Apocalypse Now and THE CONVERSATION (1974). These films have consistently been listed among the greatest films ever made.
As the maverick founder of his company, American Zoetrope, he personally nourished the careers of talents such as George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, John Milius, his daughter Sofia Coppola, and actors including Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, James Caan, Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon and Diane Lane. Zoetrope-produced films have received sixteen Academy Awards and seventy nominations.
As a writer, director, producer and technological pioneer, Coppola has created a body of work that has helped to shape contemporary American cinema. Francis Coppola created and presides over an international business empire that includes wine, resorts, and publications, as well as film.