Cameron Crowe: rock journalist, screen writer

By Diana Abou-Saleh

Former rock journalist, screenwriter, and director Cameron Crowe was born July 13, 1957, in Palm Springs, Cali. He was raised in San Diego under the tight-knit rules of his parents, a teacher and a real estate agent who banned rock’n’roll music in their house. Crowe’s mother pushed him to strive in academics. As a result, Crowe skipped kindergarten and two grades in elementary school, and by the time he went to a Catholic high school, he was much younger than the other students.

Crowe graduated from high school at age 15 and began his journalistic career writing for magazines such as “The Los Angeles Times” and “Creem.” A year later, at the age of 16, Crowe started writing for “Rolling Stone ” magazine. This experience later brought about the film “Almost Famous,” which won an Academy Award for best original screenplay. Crowe briefly attended college, but soon dropped out to pursue a screenwriting career.

In 1979, Crowe returned to Clairemont High School in San Diego, California. He posed as an undercover student to research his book on teenagers. His first book, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story,” not only became a bestseller, but it also served as the source for Crowe’s first original screenplay. Crowe made his directorial debut with “Say Anything,” another high school saga starring John Cusack. He also directed movies like “Singles,” a romantic comedy set in Seattle. “Jerry Maguire,” starring Tom Cruise, became widely known and acclaimed, since it won several Oscar nominations.

In 2000, “Almost Famous” became a massive hit as well. This semi-autobiography, set in the 1970s, tells the story of a dedicated 15-year-old rock journalist.

During the late 1990s, Crowe released his second book, “Conversations with Billy Wilder,” a question –and – answer session with the legendary director.

Crowe’s future projects include writing and directing his seventh feature film, starring Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon. Crowe currently resides in southern California.