May 1, 2019
SCA Mourns Alumnus, Director John Singleton
By SCA Staff
In the School’s hallways and on social media, SCA students, faculty and staff shared remembrances of John Singleton. The writer/director’s death was confirmed Monday afternoon (April 29th) following his family's decision to remove him from life support. He had been in a coma following a major stroke on April 17th. Singleton was 51. He left behind a legacy of filmmaking and mentorship that will not be forgotten, especially at SCA, where he was a constant presence, inspiration and supporter.
On Monday, Dean Elizabeth Daley and Frank Price, Chairperson of the School’s Board of Councilors, released statements praising Singleton as an iconic filmmaker who was a “giant” to his SCA family. See their full statements below.
From Dean Elizabeth Daley:
John will always be a beloved son of this institution. He started “attending” USC even before he was officially a student, while still a teenager in high school in South Los Angeles. Faculty and staff of the time remember him as a precocious film historian, roaming the halls, asking questions about their work, and engaging them in conversations about favorite films, his being Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. The success of Boyz N The Hood soon after graduation made him an instant inspiration and role model to our students, a role he embraced without hesitation and performed with wholehearted enthusiasm. He headlined countless workshops and panel discussions, and even taught a class. When the School launched a speaker series focused on diversity, John agreed to be the first guest. Just three weeks ago, on April 8, he was on a panel celebrating SCA’s 90th Anniversary, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. John frequently showed up just to watch films with students, and would stick around long after the official end time of any program to speak with them about their projects. Importantly, he always brought students into the professional fold, hiring them on his films and television projects.
We will forever be grateful for John’s unwavering love of the School of Cinematic Arts and its students. John brought South Los Angeles into SCA, inspiring other talented filmmakers from the neighborhoods around the School to come through the doors. He bulldozed his way into an industry that was not always welcoming, and did so with projects that reflected his community, his culture, and his passions. He is a giant in our hearts.
From Frank Price, Chairman, SCA Board of Advisers:
My wife Katherine and I are deeply saddened by the news of John Singleton’s passing. When I was asked to form a board of advisors for the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1991, my greatest motivation in saying yes was my relationship with John, who exemplified the School’s reputation for finding and nurturing extraordinary talent. Just a few years before, as the chairman of Columbia Pictures, I made one of the best decisions of my career in buying the script of Boyz N The Hood and hiring John to direct it. Since then, I have been honored to call him my friend. Over the years he has sent me first drafts of his scripts, from which I always learned something new about our place as Americans, and as human beings. I will miss his friendship, our conversations, and his contributions to our industry.
Katherine and I send condolences to his mother and father, his children, and their family members.