He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father was a composer and musician Carmine Coppola. His mother had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola's first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations, including writing an adaptation of This Property is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams (with Fred Coe and Edith Sommer), and screenplays for Is Paris Burning?, and Patton, the film for which Coppola won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. In 1966, Coppola's 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George Lucas established American Zoetrope, an independent film production company based in San Francisco. The company's first project was THX 1138 (1971), produced by Coppola and directed by Lucas. Coppola also produced the second film that Lucas directed, American Graffiti (1973), in 1973. This movie got five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
In 1971, Coppola's film The Godfather (1972) became one of the highest-grossing movies in history and brought him an Oscar for writing the screenplay with Mario Puzo The film was a Best Picture Academy Award-winner, and also brought Coppola a Best Director Oscar nomination. Following his work on the screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), Coppola's next film was The Conversation (1974), which was honored with the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and brought Coppola Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominations. Also released that year, The Godfather: Part II (1974). rivaled the success of The Godfather (1972), and won six Academy Awards, bringing Coppola Oscars as a producer, director and writer. Coppola then began work on his most ambitious film, Apocalypse Now (1979), a Vietnam War epic that was inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1994) (TV). Released in 1979, the acclaimed film won a Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and two Academy Awards . Also that year, Coppola executive produced the hit The Black Stallion (1979). With George Lucas, Coppola executive produced Kagemusha, directed by Akira Kurosawa, and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, directed by Paul Schrader, and based on the life and writings of Yukio Mishima. Coppola also executive produced such films as The Escape Artist (1982), Hammett (1982) The Black Stallion Returns (1983), Barfly (1987), Wind (1992), The Secret Garden (1993) etc.
He helped to make a star of his nephew, Nicolas Cage. Personal tragedy hit in 1986 when his son Gio died in a boating accident. Francis Ford Coppola is one of America's most erratic, energetic and controversial filmmakers.
Caught polio when he was a child. During his quarantine, he practiced puppetry.
Some sources say he is the uncle of Alan Coppola, but Alan's name does not appear on any family tree authorized by the Coppola family.
Like Martin Scorsese, Coppola was a sickly youth, a case of polio which allowed him time to indulge in puppet theater and home movies.
Brother of Talia Shire.
Father of Mary Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Roman Coppola & Gian-Carlo Coppola
Son of composer Carmine Coppola.
Uncle of Nicolas Cage, Christopher Coppola Marc Coppola, Robert Schwartzman, Jason Schwartzman, 'John Schwartzman (I)', and Stephanie Schwartzman.
M.F.A. from University of California. 
Since 1978, owner and operator of a Rutherford, California vineyard making Rubicon wine.
Coppola began his winery enterprise by buying portion of historic Inglenook estate in 1975. His success in field is explored in book "A Sense of Place" by Steven Kolpan, 1999.
Brother-in-law of Bill Neil.
Was in the early stages of developing a script for a fourth Godfather film with Mario Puzo which was to tell the story of the early lives of Sonny, Fredo and Michael. After Puzo's death in July of 1999, Coppola abandoned the project, stating that he couldn't do it without his friend.
As of 2002, he is one of only four people to simultaneously win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (the other three being James L. Brooks, Billy Wilder, and Leo McCarey).
As of May 2002, the number of Coppola-family members appearing in or contributing to filmmaking stands at thirteen, spread over three generations.
Francis Ford Coppola has been in competition with Bob Fosse on several occasions. In 1972, Coppola was nominated for the Best Director Oscar (The Godfather), but lost to Fosse (Cabaret). In 1974, Fosse was nominated for Best Director (Lenny) but lost to Coppola (The Godfather Part II). In 1979, both were nominated as directors (Apocalypse Now and All That Jazz), but both lost. When Fosse won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (Coppola won the previous year), he tied with Akira Kurasawa, whose movie was produced by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.
Uncle of Matthew Orlando Shire, John Schwartzman and Stephanie Schwartzman. Grandfather of Gia Coppola. Father of Gian-Carlo Coppola. Great-uncle of Weston Coppola Cage.
Has released his own line of specialty foods.
As a child his bedroom was covered with pictures of his favourite film star, Jane Powell. When he discovered she´d married Geary Anthony Steffen, Jr. he tore them all down.
His wife arranged for him to meet Jane Powell as a 40th birthday present.
Out of all his peers who rose to fame and power in the 1970s "Golden Age" era, he is perhaps the only filmmaker still married to his first wife.
Frequently casts Robert Duvall, the late John Cazale, Nicolas Cage, Diane Keaton, Matt Dillon, and Laurence Fishburne.
Made a commercial for Suntory whiskey with legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa in the 1970s, an event which later influenced a salient plot point in his daughter Sofia's movie, Lost in Translation (2003).
Was voted the 21st Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945- 1985". Pages 227-234. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
George Lucas said that he based the Han Solo character from the Star Wars trilogy on Coppola.
Serves as the Honorary Ambassador of the Central American nation of Belize in San Francisco, California, USA. On their official roster of worldwide honorary consulates found on their official website, he is referred to as "His Excellency Ambassador Francis Ford Coppola," although he is not a Belizean citizen.
In 1971 and 1973, George C. Scott and Marlon Brando refused their respective Best Actor awards for Patton (1970) and The Godfather (1972) - both written by Coppola.
Four of his relatives have been involved in the Star Wars films of his friend George Lucas. His brother-in-law, Bill Neil, worked at Industrial Light and Magic during the production of the original trilogy. His daughter, Sophia, and son, Roman, played a handmaiden and Naboo guard, respectively, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. His nephew, Christopher Neil, who worked as a dialogue coach for both Francis (on Jack and The Rainmaker) and Sophia (on The Virgin Suicides), did the same job on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith--a job for which Coppola recommended him. In addition, his late older son was named Gian-Carlo. In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, there is a Naboo vehicle called the Gian Speeder.
Often casts his own real-life extended family members in his films. In the case of the Godfather films, their characters' relationships to Michael Corleone often paralleled their real-life relationship to Coppola. He cast his sister, Talia Shire, as Michael's sister Connie, and his daughter, Sofia Coppola, as Michael's daughter Mary - named for Coppola's other daughter. In addition, Diane Keaton said that she modeled her performance as Kay Adams after Elanor Coppola, since both Kay and Coppola are protestants who married into Italian Catholic families.
Since the mid-90s, he has been writing and re-writing an original screenplay entitled "Megalopolis". Described as "one man's quest to build utopia set in modern-day New York," the project has been delayed due to Coppola's constant tinkering with the script and the fact that the director is attempting to finance it himself. Several A-list actors have had their names attached to it and a great excess of second-unit footage (shot in 24p HD) has been captured by Coppola and the film's cinematographer, Ron Fricke of 'Baraka' (1992) fame.
Directed 12 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Geraldine Page, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro, Michael V. Gazzo, Lee Strasberg, Talia Shire, Kathleen Turner, Andy Garcia and Martin Landau. Brando and De Niro won their Oscar for their performances as Vito Corleone.
In 1975, he accepted the Oscar for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" on behalf of Robert De Niro, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony. De Niro won for his performance in Coppola's The Godfather: Part II (1974).
The only person to direct a sibling in an Oscar-nominated performance (his sister Talia Shire was nominated as "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" for The Godfather: Part II (1974))
He and his sister Talia Shire are the first brother and sister to be Oscar-nominated in the same year (1975)
President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996
He is among an elite group of five directors who have won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Original/Adapted) for the same film. In 1975 he won all three for The Godfather: Part II (1974). The others are Leo McCarey, Billy Wilder, James L. Brooks and Peter Jackson.
Co-owns the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco with Robert DeNiro and fellow Bay area resident Robin Williams
Was involved in both movies that his father and his daughter won Oscars: He was the director of _The Godfather: Part II (1974)_ which won his father an Oscar for "Best Music, Original Dramatic Score" and he was the executive producer of Lost in Translation (2003) which won his daughter the Oscar for "Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen"
There are three generations of Oscar winners in the Coppola family: Francis, his father Carmine Coppola, his nephew Nicolas Cage and his daughter Sofia Coppola. They are the second family to do so, the first family is the Hustons - Anjelica Huston, John Huston and Walter Huston.
Since the mid-90s (and possibly even earlier), he has been writing and re-writing an original screenplay entitled "Megalopolis". Described as "one man's quest to build utopia set in modern-day New York," the project has been delayed due to Coppola's constant tinkering with the script and the fact that the director is attempting to finance it himself. Several A-list actors have had their names attached to it and a great excess of second-unit footage (shot in 24p HD) has been captured by Coppola and the film's cinematographer, Ron Fricke of _Baraka_ (1992) fame.
Currently owns 2 resorts in Belize and 1 in Guatemala. They are the Blancaneaux Lodge in the Pine Ridge Region, Turtle Inn in Placencia and La Lancha near Tikal in Guatemala.