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Spike Lee
Spike Lee at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Lee at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Shelton Jackson Lee

March 20, 1957 (1957-03-20) (age 64)
Education Morehouse College (BA)
New York University (MFA)
  • Filmmaker
  • professor
Years active 1977–present
Home town Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Board member of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks
Tonya Lewis
(m. 1993)
Children 2
Parent(s) Bill Lee
  • Joie Lee (sister)
  • Cinqué Lee (brother)
  • David Lee (brother)
  • Malcolm D. Lee (cousin)
Awards Full list

Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983.

He made his directorial debut with She's Gotta Have It (1986). He has since written and directed such films as Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), He Got Game (1998), The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), 25th Hour (2002), Inside Man (2006), Chi-Raq (2015), and BlacKkKlansman (2018). Lee also took starring roles in ten of his films.

Lee's films have explored race relations, colorism in the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. He has won numerous accolades for his work, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Student Academy Award, a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and the Cannes Grand Prix. He has also received an Academy Honorary Award, an Honorary BAFTA Award, an Honorary César, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

Early life

Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee in 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother was a teacher, and his father was a jazz musician. When Lee was very young, the family moved to live in Brooklyn, New York City. His mother gave him the nickname "Spike".


The first movie Lee directed was She's Gotta Have It. Lee directed the two music videos for Michael Jackson's single "They Don't Care About Us". In 2002 Lee won the Special Award at the BAFTAs.


  • She's Gotta Have It (1986)
  • School Daze (1988)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • Mo' Better Blues (1990)
  • Jungle Fever (1991)
  • Malcolm X (1992)
  • Crooklyn (1994)
  • Clockers (1995)
  • Girl 6 (1996)
  • Get on the Bus (1996)
  • 4 Little Girls (1997)
  • He Got Game (1998)
  • Summer of Sam (1999)
  • The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
  • Bamboozled (2000)
  • Jim Brown: All-American (2002)
  • 25th Hour (2002)
  • She Hate Me (2004)
  • Sucker Free City (2004)
  • Inside Man (2006)
  • When the Levees Broke (2006)
  • Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
  • If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise (2010)
  • Red Hook Summer (2012)
  • Oldboy (2013)
  • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014)
  • Chi-Raq (2015)
  • Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall (2016)
  • She's Gotta Have It (2017–2019)
  • BlacKkKlansman (2018)

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