- 23 May 1986
Ryan Kyle Coogler is an African-American screenwriter-director born on May 23, 1986, in Oakland, California. In his earlier years, he played football -- a vocation that stayed with him into his college career. While he was at Saint Mary's College of California, his English professor, Rosemary Graham, suggested that Coogler consider a screenwriting career. Coogler then attended Sacramento State, and later, USC School of Cinematic Arts, eventually directing four short films while there: Locks (2009), Fig (2011), The Sculptor (2011), and Gap (2011). Three of these shorts either won or were nominated for different awards. Coogler's first feature film was titled Fruitvale, and later Fruitvale Station (2013). It is based on the final 24 hours of Oscar Grant's life, before he was shot and killed by one of Oakland's Fruitvale BART station's police officers, on the first day of 2009. Produced by actor-director Forest Whitaker, the feature starring Michael B. Jordan won many awards. Coogler then directed Creed (2015), a sequel/spin-off of the Rocky movies. It won critical accolades for both him and actor Jordan, who had collaborated with Coogler again. In early 2016, Coogler was slated to direct and jointly write the script for Marvel Studios' feature film, Black Panther.