Alfred Hitchcock (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: In a film career that lasted more than fifty years, Hitchcock directed numerous thrillers that explored the psychological depths of the human condition. In the process, he created some of the most memorable and influential films of the modern era.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, part of what is now called the Cockney area of London, on August 13, 1899. He was the third and last child of William and Emma Hitchcock and spent his early years with his brother William and sister Ellen Kathleen in a staunchly middle-class and Catholic environment. His father was a hard-working, moderately successful grocer and, at least to Hitchcock, a somewhat intimidating figure. Hitchcock’s Catholic background marked him as an outsider in Anglican England, and his education at a Jesuit school, St. Ignatius College, reinforced not only his habits of discipline bred at home but also his overall sense of worry, guilt, and fear, qualities that proved to be integral to his creativity, to the intense concentration in his career, and to the world of disorder and pain envisioned in his films.
After leaving school, Hitchcock continued on with occasional courses and workshops at the University of London, but when his father died in 1914, he suddenly needed to support himself and went to work for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company as a technical clerk. His skill as a draftsman led him to...
(The entire section is 2505 words.)
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