February 18th 1950- August 6th 2009
Part 1: Biography
John W. Hughes was born February 18th, 1950, in Lansing Michigan. After spending his youth in the Detroit suburbs, he moved to Chicago, Illinois with his family at the age of 13 (his father was a salesman). The Hughes family lived at the much-scorned outskirts of a wealthier suburban-Chicago neighborhood, which permanently cemented his loathing disrespect and jealousy of snobs. Chicago would become an area that would figure prominently in most of his films (not to mention some rich, snobby characters).
He graduated from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois in 1968, and moved to Arizona State University but dropped out his junior year. By this point he was already married (he met his wife Nancy in high school) and became an advertising copywriter (some of his ads were for 7-UP). He also wrote many short stories, magazine articles, unpublished novels, and jokes for stand-up comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Henny Youngman an Rip Taylor. "It was good training in minimalist thinking, and taught me how to think comically."
In 1979 he became an editor for National Lampoon magazine. It was here where he broke into professional screenwriting with National Lampoon's Class Reunion (1982) and in 1993, National Lampoon's Vacation, which was based on a short story he wrote called "Vacation '58." (When another writer's Lampoon short story became the genesis of Animal House, Hollywood studios started recruiting all the Lampooners to come up with movies, and thus John got his big chance at a movie career.) He also made Mr. Mom (1983), but it was in 1984 when he made it big with the teen crowd with his films Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Weird Science.
While toiling as a rewriter and script doctor on many early 80s films (including Joy of Sex), John saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Risky Business, and Wargames, and realized that he could be writing...