Son of mortgage broker Danny Singleton and pharmaceutical company sales executive Sheila Ward and raised in separate households by his unmarried parents, John Singleton attended the Filmic Writing Program at USC after graduating from high school in 1986. While studying there, he won three writing awards from the university, which lead to a contract with Creative Artists Agency during his sophomore year. Columbia Pictures bought his script for Boyz n the Hood (1991) and budgeted it at $7 million. Singleton notes that much of the story comes from his own experiences in South Central LA and credits his parents with keeping him off the street.
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