Alan J. Pakula
The son of Polish immigrants, Pakula attended Yale University and was expected to enter the family printing business. Instead, he convinced his father to finance his first movie -- which led to a career as a producer and, later, a director.
Notable films include To Kill a Mockingbird (for which Gregory Peck won a Best Actor Oscar), Klute (starring Best Actress Oscar winner Jane Fonda), Sophie's Choice (which earned Meryl Streep a Best Actress Oscar) and The Pelican Brief starring Julia Roberts.
The film that launched a thousand journalism school students, All the President's Men chronicles how the work of reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) contributed to the public downfall of President Richard M. Nixon. The duo connected a Washington, D.C., hotel break-in with a Nixon "dirty tricks" team assigned to discredit Democratic rivals, launching a series of tense events that forced Nixon to resign.