1. Frank Russell Capra was an Italian-American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s.
2. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, his rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the “American dream personified.”
3. Among his leading films was It Happened One Night , which became the first film to win the “Big Five Academy Awards”, including Best Picture.
4. During World War II, Capra served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series.
5. Outside of directing, Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social issues.
6. He served as President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Screenwriters Guild, and was head of the Directors Guild of America.
7. Capra was born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, a village near Palermo.
8. In 1903, when he was five, Capra emigrated to the United States with his family, who traveled in the steerage section of the boat, which was the cheapest way to gain passage.
9. Very few people have trunks or anything that takes up space.
10. They have just what they can carry in their hands or in a bag.
11. Instead of working after graduating, as his parents wanted, he enrolled in college.
12. He worked through college at the California Institute of Technology, playing banjo at nightclubs and taking odd jobs, which included working at the campus laundry facility, waiting tables, and cleaning engines at a local power plant.