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Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese is different than most men because he was different than most boys.  Born on November 17, 1942, in the New York borough of Queens, he grew up in Manhattan's Little Italy where he lived until he was 24.  He had asthma as a child and rarely worked at summer jobs or played with the neighborhood kids.  Instead, he went with his father to the local movie house and, afterward, began sketching motion picture scenes on a drawing pad.

Raised in a strict Roman Catholic family by his father, Luciano, and mother, Catherine Cappa, Scorsese enrolled in a seminary with the intent of becoming a priest.  But the youngster soon learned that he wasn't cut out for the priesthood.  He was expelled for scuffling with another boy during prayers.  His parents enrolled him in a high school in the Bronx, and it's there that Scorsese discovered that what he really wanted to do was to make films. 

He went to New York University, where he received a BA in English and a master's degree in filmmaking, winning awards for his student projects, What's a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) and It's Not Just You, Murray (1964).

In 1973, the young filmmaker crafted a 45-minute documentary centered around an after-dinner conversation with his parents.  The film, Italianamerican, features his parents telling stories about their childhood and a demonstration of his mother making marinara sauce.  It received a standing ovation at the 1974 New York Film Festival, during which his mother blew kisses to the audience.

Scorsese's breakthrough to the "bigs" was his film, Mean Streets (1973), which is based on a relationship between a couple of small-time hoods in the criminal world of Little Italy.  The movie also launched the acting career of Robert de Niro, who has been a close friend of Scorsese ever since.

Among his most critically acclaimed films are Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Kind of Comedy, and Goodfellas, starring DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci. 

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