March 20th, 1962 – St. Cloud native Stephen Sommers, well-known screenwriter and film director, was born

Stephen Sommers was born to Stephen and Mary (King) Sommers in Dayton, Ohio on March 20th, 1962. The oldest of five children, he grew up in St. Cloud, graduating from Apollo High School in 1976. He graduated from St. John’s University in 1980 with degrees in English and Spanish.

After college, Sommers traveled around Europe managing a rock and roll band and working in street theatre groups. In 1988 he graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television.

Sommers got noticed in the film world when his 20-minute college film “True Alibi”, was chosen for the Focus Awards. This competition included 600 campus films nationwide, and Sommers film took 4th. His first full length film, “Catch Me If You Can”, was filmed in his hometown of St. Cloud in 1988.

After this Sommers went on to direct a number of films: “The Adventures of Huck Finn” (1993), “The Jungle Book” (1994), “Deep Rising” (1998), “The Mummy” (1999), “The Mummy Returns” (2001), “Van Helsing” (2004), and most recently “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” (2009).

Check out this interview with Stephen Sommers:

Thanks to the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History” on WJON.