Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was making amateur films by age 20, and won a Student Academy Award for his graduate thesis film. Lee drew attention with his first feature, She’s Gotta Have It — one of the most profitable films made in 1986 — and continues to create films that explore provoking topics like race, politics and violence. He is also known for his documentaries like 4 Little Girls ,
a piece about the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, was
nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 1997 and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts , about life in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as well as commercials.