George was born in Modesto, California, the son of a strict Methodist family. George, as a teenager, was obsessed with racing cars until an almost fatal accident set him on a new path. His head just flew away like a rocket to the stars, and cameras and filming became his thing. He attended good schools, got fair grades and finally swooped in the world of film making. No overnight sensation he learned well from famous film teachers and at the best institutions and made the world of film his only world. He learned from others. He advanced and created and could think visually.
Today, he is recognized as an extraordinary American film producer, screenwriter, director, and entrepreneur. In short...a genius. He founded Lucasfilm Limited and sold it to The Walt Disney Company. He is best known as the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Lucas is one of the American film industry’s most successful filmmakers financially.
He attended Modesto Junior Collegeand, began filming with an 8 mm camera, then transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film. And he met, studied with and learned wonderful things from future bright lights and they all stayed fast friends and they all became famous.
Lucas co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Coppola hoping to create a liberating environment for filmmakers to beat the Hollywood system. Alan Ladd Jr. had faith in him and helped him at Fox produce Star Wars which reestablished Fox studios and brought Lucas personal fame.
Star Wars quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time. People were after him to ask for more money but he smartly negociated with Fox for merchandise marketing exclusive rights and he made billions with costumes, T shirts, books and toys! Billions.
The animation studio Pixar was founded as the Graphics Group, one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm. Pixar’s early computer graphics research resulted in groundbreaking effects in films such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Young Sherlock Holmes, and the group was purchased in 1986 by Steve Jobs shortly after he left Apple.
In January 2012, announced his retirement: “I’m moving away from the business... from the company, from all this kind of stuff.” — George Lucas on his future career plans.
In 1991, The George Lucas Educational Foundation was founded as a nonprofit operating foundation. Lucas, through this foundation, was one of the leading proponents of the E-rate program in the universal service fund which was enacted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. On June 24, 2008, Lucas testified before the United States House of Representatives subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet as the head of his Foundation to advocate for a free wireless broadband educational network.
In 2005, Lucas gave US$1 million to help build the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to commemorate American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
On September 19, 2006, George Lucas donated $175–180 million to USC, the largest gift to a film school anywhere. Lucas has pledged to give half of his fortune to charity as part of an effort called The Giving Pledge, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to persuade America’s richest individuals to donate their financial wealth to charities.
Until tomorrow: Give the world your best.