Spike Lee is a movie director, writer, producer, actor, and college professor. Since 1983, he has made more than 35 movies through his company, 40 Acres and a Mule.
In 1986, he made his first movie as a director. It was called “She’s Gotta Have It.” Since then, he has written and directed films like “Do the Right Thing” (1989), “Jungle Fever” (1991), and “Malcolm X” (1992).
Spike Lee Early Life
Shelton Jackson Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 20, 1957. This is where Spike Lee grew up. Jacqueline, his mother, taught art and black literature. William, his father, played jazz and wrote music.
Joie, David, and Cinque are his three younger brothers and sisters. When he was a young boy, his mother called him “Spike.” When he was young, his family moved from Atlanta to Brooklyn. He went to John Dewey High School in Brooklyn.
He went to Morehouse College, an all-black school in Atlanta, where he made his first movie, “Last Hustle in Brooklyn.” He got his Bachelor of Arts in mass communications. In 1978, he earned an MFA in film and television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads,” Lee’s independent film, was the first student film to be shown at the New Directors/New Films Festival at Lincoln Center.
Spike Lee Career
In 1985, Spike Lee started making She’s Gotta Have It, his first full-length movie. He spent $175,000 on the film and made it all in just two weeks. When the movie came out in the U.S. in 1986, it made more than $7 million.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the movie “Do the Right Thing,” which came out in 1989. “Mo’ Better Blues,” his next film, came out in 1990 and caused a lot of trouble because it had antisemitic undertones.
People in the movie were called “Shylocks,” referring to the Jewish character in William Shakespeare‘s play “The Merchant of Venice,” who was also from Venice. Lee denied the accusations and said that he was trying to show how hard it was for black artists to fight against being exploited.
In 1997, he released a documentary called “4 Little Girls.” It was about the four girls who died in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The movie was up for Best Feature Documentary at the Academy Awards.
Lee was given an Academy Honorary Award in 2015 for his movie work. Lee’s movie “BlacKkKlansman” won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 and came out in August of that year. It was up for Best Picture and Best Director at the Academy Awards. This was Lee’s first nomination in this category. Lee won his first Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, his first award in a competition.
In 1991, Lee taught a class at Harvard on how to make movies. In 1993, he began teaching in the graduate film program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a professor with tenure at NYU.
Lee has been in charge of commercials for Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell, and Ben & Jerry’s through the marketing branch of 40 Acres and a Mule.
Spike Lee’s Personal Life
In 1992, Spike Lee met lawyer Tonya Lewis. After a year, they got married in New York. Satchel, their daughter, was born in 1994, and Jackson, their son, in 1997.
He has been sitting courtside at almost every Knicks home game for nearly three decades. In 2020, it was thought that he had spent $10 million on Knicks tickets.
Spike Lee’s Net Worth
The American film director, writer, producer, actor, and college professor Spike Lee has a net worth of $50 million. Lee is well known for his work in the film industry. Spike’s main home is a 9000-square-foot townhouse on the most expensive part of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
This townhouse comprises two separate three-story buildings that surround a private courtyard. The mansion has 9000 square feet of living space and was made a New York City landmark because a Vanderbilt family member used to own it. In 1998, Spike bought the house for $4.75 million.
Today, it is considered worth between $30 and $40 million. Take this with a grain of salt, but Zillow thinks this house will be worth between $19 and $90 million in 10 years. Spike’s film production company, Forty Acres and a Mule, is in a Brooklyn building with three floors that he bought for $820,000 in 1991. Similar buildings on the same block sell for between $2 and $4 million.
Spike might be at his two-acre estate in Martha’s Vineyard when he’s not relaxing in New York City. Spike bought the property for $400,000 in 1989. It is near the 18th hole of Farm Neck Golf Club. Then, he built a four-bedroom mansion that is thought to be worth between $3 and $4 million today.
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