Filmmaker-provocateur Michael Moore is out with his new film, "Sicko," an indictment of the U.S. health-care system. Here are some selected short facts about him:
1. As a teenager, Moore attended a seminary for a year. One of the main reasons he dropped out was that he wasn't allowed to watch the Detroit Tigers, who went to the World Series that year.
2. What does Moore have in common with former President Gerald Ford and businessman Ross Perot? All were Eagle Scouts. For his Eagle project, Moore put together a slide show on pollution by local businesses.
3. Moore grew up in the middle-class suburb of Davison, Mich., outside Flint. At age 18 he was elected to the school board on a platform of removing the principal and assistant principal at his high school. Both eventually left.
4. Moore quit college because he couldn't find a parking space. As he told the Tribune's Julie Deardorff: "The first semester of sophomore year of college I was at a commuter campus at the University of Michigan, Flint. I drove around for what seemed to be an hour, looking for a parking space. After an hour, I said, 'The hell with it!' and gave up and drove home ... and I haven't been back since."
5. One of Moore's early benefactors was singer Harry Chapin, who held benefit concerts to help finance a youth hot line and alternative newspaper run by Moore in the Flint area.
6. Moore got his start in filmmaking when he was hired by documentary director Kevin Rafferty to interview Ku Klux Klan members. Rafferty, who was cinematographer for Moore's first film, "Roger & Me," is the cousin of President Bush.
7. Moore was fired twice within two months in 1986. After less than half a year as editor of Mother Jones magazine, he was dismissed. He took a job as a writer for a Ralph Nader newsletter but was fired again.
8. Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar, one of the Marine recruiters in Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last year.
9. Moore's interview with actor and gun advocate Charlton Heston in "Bowling for Columbine" prompted criticism that the filmmaker was taking advantage of a sick man. (After the interview, but before the film's general release, Heston announced he had Alzheimer's-like symptoms.) Moore once considered -- and rejected -- the idea of running against Heston for the presidency of the National Rifle Association.
10. Move over, David Hasselhoff -- Germany's in love with Michael Moore. At least two of Moore's books -- "Downsize This!" and "Stupid White Men" -- have sold more than 1 million copies each in Germany, and Moore's following there has been compared to comedian Jerry Lewis' fame in France.
Sources: Tribune news services, "Michael Moore" by Emily Schultz, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone
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