John Daniel Singleton is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. A native of South Los Angeles, many of his films consider the implications of inner-city violence like the critically acclaimed and popular Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning and Baby Boy. He has recently branched out into mainstream territory with the blockbuster 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers.
Singleton was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Sheila Ward-Johnson, a pharmaceutical company sales executive, and Danny Singleton, a real estate agent, mortgage broker, and financial planner. He attended Pasadena City College and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He graduated from USC in 1990, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Singleton was enrolled in the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing program under Margaret Mehring and her now famous curriculum. The program was designed to take students directly into the Hollywood system as proficient writer/directors.
Unlike the other standard USC programs for screenwriting, film production, or the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing and critical studies programs, Mehring designed her FILMIC writing program to teach a select group of students how to be authors of their visions. Other students included Helen Childress, Stephen Chbosky, and Ms. Childress? husband Carlos Brooks. Singleton was always present in the Apple computer writing lab, working on his screenplays during late nights and early mornings. However, his ability to direct was correlated to an early beginning in music videos, which culminated in the EFX driven Michael Jackson ?Remember the Time? MTV video.
Singleton’s 1991 film debut Boyz n the Hood received Academy Award nods for Best Screenplay and Director. At age 24 he was the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director, and the first African-American to be nominated for the award.