Frank Capra: Italian of the Week

Dec 20, 2015 915

Francesco Rosario Capra was born in Bisacquino, Sicily, on May 18, 1897. When he was five, his family made the 13-day trip to New York. Even though he was just a child, Frank remembered seeing "a statue of a great lady, taller than a church steeple, holding a torch above the land we were about to enter" (McBride). The Capra family eventually settled in Los Angeles, CA.

After graduating high school, Frank enrolled at the California Institute of Technology where he graduated in 1918 with a degree in chemical engineering. During World War I, Frank was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In 1920, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and took the name Frank Russell Capra. For the next several years, Frank took on several odd jobs including working on movie sets and selling oil well stocks. His connections in Hollywood led to his interest in film making. A year later he directed his first short documentary film.

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