Writer, Screenwriter and Producer Nicholas Pileggi to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Long Island University
Wiseguy’ author to attend Brooklyn Campus Commencement on May 15
Office of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. - Oscar, Golden Globe and Writer's Guild Award nominee Nicholas Pileggi will receive an honorary doctorate at the 78th commencement ceremonies for Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus on Thursday, May 15.
Pileggi will be honored with a Doctor of Letters degree, sharing the stage with talk show host Tavis Smiley, also an honorary degree recipient and the commencement speaker. Smiley will address an audience of more than 1,700 graduating students.
An accomplished wordsmith, Pileggi studied English at the Brooklyn Campus. He started out as a reporter covering the New York police beat for The Associated Press and became a contributing editor at New York magazine, building a reputation as the city's top crime writer. He also wrote stories for Esquire, The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine.
Pileggi developed a network of contacts and a deep understanding of the workings of the world of organized crime. He tapped into this background to pen the true-crime best seller “Wiseguy,” receiving accolades from The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek and Publishers Weekly, among others.
Pileggi's success on the page transferred readily to the screen. His unflinching account of the day-to-day life of a mobster in “Wiseguy” caught the attention of legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who wanted to make the bestseller into a movie. He asked Pileggi to write the screenplay with him, and the result was the modern classic, “Goodfellas,” which made AFI's list of the top 100 films of all time.
For the big screen, Pileggi served as executive producer of “American Gangster” and producer of “Father Hood.” In television, he was executive producer of “Michael Hayes”; “Vendetta”; “Kings of South Beach ”; and a two-part documentary, “Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story of the American Mob,” which he also wrote.
A member of PEN, Pileggi has received awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the New York State Bar Association and the Detective Association. He also is the recipient of an Edgar Allen Poe Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America.
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