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Sample Autograph Signature: Joe Eszterhas

Legendary American Hollywood screenwriter and producer. Eszterhas, born in Hungary in 1944, spent his first 6 years in Austrian refugee camps before his family immigrated to a poor immigrant neighborhood in Cleveland where he grew up. His mother's schizophrenia worsened and she became estranged her from her family in his adolescence. His father, Istvan Eszterhas, who would write 30 novels about their neighborhood's Hungarian émigré community, was a Roman Catholic newspaper editor. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School in 1962, and then attended Ohio University where he was the editor of the campus daily. During his last year at the university in 1966, he traveled to LBJ's White House to receive the top prize in a national contest for college journalists. Eszterhas also began his first job that year as a reporter for the Dayton Journal Herald, then was hired by Cleveland's The Plain Dealer in 1967. His career there was tumultuous. He won an Associated Press award in 1967 for his coverage of a disaster in West Virginia, and then was successfully sued in 1968 by a woman whose husband died in the accident. He received another Associated Press award for his exposure of photographs of the My Lai massacre, but fired in 1971 after publishing a story in another publication critical of The Plain Dealer management. Moving to San Francisco, he becomes a political writer for Rolling Stone magazine, where he works for 5 years. His first novel, Charlie Simpson's Apocalypse (1974), was nominated for a National Book Award. When Rolling Stone moved its offices to New York City in 1977, Eszterhas turned to screenwriting. His first screen story was the 1978 F.I.S.T. which also appeared as a novel in 1978. Thereafter he contributed to the script of Flashdance (1983), and then wrote three more screenplays before writing the major hit Basic Instinct (1992). Three films later came his 1995 Showgirls for which he won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay. Undaunted, Eszterhas produced and wrote his better regarded Telling Lies in America (1997), and then Burn Hollywood Burn (1998) which closed within a week, and won several Golden Raspberry awards and another Worst Screenplay for Eszterhas. None of Eszterhas' screenplays have been produced since. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2000, moved back to Cleveland, and is speaking out against Hollywood's glamorization of smoking. Despite being one of the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood, he is generally regarded as the most reviled screenwriters in the history of film. This is largely due to becoming the most powerful screenwriter in film history through his skills at self-promotion as a controversial, notorious, bad-boy, despite most of his work being critical condemned as that of a hack. He has also written 3 books: American Rhapsody (2000), Hollywood Animal: A Memoir (2004), and The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! (2006)

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