George Lucas is the director who created Star Wars and has gone on to have a great career as an independent director/producer with a personal fortune estimated in the region of $4 billion. Unfortunate, as with so many of the more famous diabetics his condition receives little comment in the press which is a little disappointing as it could well be an inspiration to many sufferers.
Born on 14 May 1944 George Walton Lucas developed a very early passion for fast cars and motor racing although a near fatal accident just prior to his high school graduation soon saw him looking for new ventures. It was then that he took up an interest in cinematography, experimenting with a number of home movies during his time at college. As luck would have it the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts opened just as George Lucas was looking to take his movie ambitions to a new level. This is where he toned his movie-making skills which went on to bring him fame and a massive fortune.
Lucas managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film in 1967 although he then tried to join the United States Air Force as an officer only to be turned down because of numerous speeding tickets and referred to the U.S. Army. It was during a routine medical test with the Army that he was shown to be suffering from a mild form of diabetes for which he was prescribed medication for the rest of his life – he does not require insulin injections.
In hindsight, the fact he was not able to join the army because of his diabetes meant that he was able to pursue his first love of movie and films and the George Lucas saga started to take shape.
Initially George Lucas’s first major success was American Graffiti in 1973 although as luck would have it he then proposed a new Flash Gordon film but was unable to secure the rights for the production. It was then that he looked at his own film which we now know as Star Wars. As with so many of the great films of today Lucas had great difficulty arranging finance to produce and distribute the film and it was only because one of the directors at Fox Studios was a fan of American Graffiti that he was able to sign a contract to produce Star Wars.
He took the strange and uncommon step of waving his up-front directors fees in relation to Star Wars and instead negotiated ownership of the licensing rights which Fox Studios believed to be worthless at the time. When Star Wars literally took off, that inspired move by George Lucas earned him hundreds of millions of dollars as he was able to retain the profits from licensed games, toys and collectables. While he went on to make a number of Star Wars movies he has also been involved in many more well-known and well loved films in the past but Star Wars has never been surpassed in his career and remains one of the more lucrative movie franchises of all time.