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  • Audrey Miller, UCTech

The Uncool Life of Cameron Crowe

Cameron Crowe was a college graduate at 15 and is now a renowned journalist and director. The life of a man whose name is never forgotten in Hollywood seems straight out of a movie. Ironically, Crowe’s life inspired his most popular film, Almost Famous. Crowe has gone on to write for magazines like Rolling Stone, Creem, and Los Angeles Times. He has directed award winning films including Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous. Successful from the age of 15, Crowe is just as relevant today.

Cameron Crowe was born on July 13, 1957. He grew up as a strict Catholic in southern California. Crowe’s mother, Alice, viewed her son as a gifted child, making him skip kindergarten and 2 grades in elementary school. Due to the age gap, Crowe was deemed an outcast. As an outlet, he wrote for underground newspapers such as the San Diego Door. Ironically, rock and roll music was banned from the Crowe household. Facing adversity, he attended his first concert, The Iron Butterfly, thanks to a local radio station giveaway. Crowe later graduated from San Diego City College at the age of 15 and went straight to work at Rolling Stone.

Crowe went on to profile musicians like David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and many other household names. After Rolling Stone moved their offices, Crowe took up a new avenue for his writing. At age 22, he went undercover for a year in 1979 at a high school to write the best selling novel Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This book now sells for over 500 dollars. Fast Times at Ridgemont High signed to become a screenplay which went on to not only to become nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screen Adaptation, but became Crowe’s directorial debut.

Crowe started directing award-winning movies like there was no tomorrow. After Fast Times at Ridgemont High came The Wild Life (1984), Say Anything (1989), and Jerry Maguire (1996), which received two Oscar nominations. Then in 2001 came the mother of all films, Almost Famous. Almost Famous, starring Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup, received a total of six Golden Globes and four Academy Award nominations. In the end, it won two Golden Globes for best motion picture and actress Kate Hudson won for best supporting actress. Cameron Crowe was awarded an Oscar for best original screenplay and a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack for a motion picture.

As the years went on, Crowe went on to produce at least 19 films and win another Oscar for his hit film Vanilla Sky, starring Tom Cruise. Crowe currently resides in Palm Springs with his two children Curtis and William. Anyone reading this may believe that he is cool, but he was once an adolescent misfit with a passion. Never underestimate the power of a person with a paper and pen because they have the potential to go on to do incredible things.

Works Cited:

“Biography.” Edited by Cameron Crowe, Biography – The Uncool - The Official Site for Everything Cameron Crowe, 2015,

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