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Writers around Ohio

Chris Columbus, man of many talents and accomplishments.
Photo by Michael Loccisano

This week’s writer in the Authors around Ohio series wasn't born in Ohio but since he was raised here, we are claiming him as a Buckeye. The exact location of where he lived isn’t clear but it was in the vicinity of Warren, Ohio . Like most young boys he loved to read, especially comics and wanted to work for Marvel when he grew up. A movie he watched when he was 15 changed his mind, and a new career direction changed his life. The writer of the week is Chris Columbus.

Chris Columbus was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania in 1958. At the age of 3 his family moved to Ohio so his father, a miner, could work in a factory. In an interview by Elaine Lipworth written for The Guardian, Columbus talks about the move to Ohio and not having much as a child. The movie “The Godfather” gave him inspiration to write screenplays. There was a pivotal moment in his life that made him reach for that dream and eventually make his way to Hollywood, thanks to one of his professors.

Columbus had been attending college on a full scholarship but after having forgotten to do the necessary paperwork to keep the scholarship, he ended up having to work at the same factory where his father worked. This was a learning experience and gave him an idea for a movie that eventually brought him to Hollywood. The movie was “Reckless” and he was given credit as being the writer. Columbus then penned another screenplay but wasn't having much luck selling it until a well-known director/producer decided to buy the option for it. That movie is a classic known as “Gremlins”.

Chris Columbus has written, produced and directed many movies throughout the course of his career, and they all are loved by the masses. But, even with having a career in something you love, there is always room to find something new and exciting. Columbus did just that and has now added author to his resume′. The book he co-wrote with Ned Vizzini is titled House of Secrets and was originally a screenplay that would have cost too much to produce. It was placed on the back-burner and reignited as a young adult, or YA, novel.

Chris Columbus is a man with many talents and another one who found a way to make money at what he loves to do.

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