In Memoriam: John Singleton (1968-2019)
It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that one of the most influential directors of the last thirty years, John Daniel Singleton, passed away on Monday at the age of fifty-one. Singleton had suffered a severe stroke the previous week and his family made the decision to remove him from life support.
A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1990, Singleton exploded on the scene just one year later with probably his best known work, Boyz n the Hood. A starring vehicle for a young Ice Cube and one of the earliest roles for future Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., Boyz n the Hood would be become a critical and commercial success. The film put a spotlight on Singleton as a powerful voice in the industry and less than a year after its release, Singleton would become the first black director ever nominated for an Academy Award. He also remains the youngest person ever to be nominated for the award at twenty-four years old. In addition, Singleton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay that same year.
In the ensuing years, Singleton would continue to be a powerful voice in the industry producing critical hits like Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, and Rosewood. Later he would transition into genre work with 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers. Over the last few years, Singleton has been heavily involved with television, directing episodes of American Crime Story, Billions, and Empire. He also co-created the FX television show Snowfall.
Singleton leaves behind seven children and a legacy in the film world that cannot be overstated. Rest in peace Mr. Singleton. Your voice and your vision will be sorely missed.