Richard Linklater, born July 30, 1960 in Houston, Texas, and grew up in nearby Huntsville.
Attended college for a short time in Houston on a baseball scholarship, but his ability to play was impeded by an arrhythmic heart condition. He would have graduated in 1982, but he decided instead to take work on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. During this two years he spent a great deal of his time alone, reading and going to the cinema to watch up to four films a day. He immersed himself in film culture, and began to believe it was a viable career move, so he saved his money to purchase a camera, projector, and some editing equipment, and experimented with the equipment by making numerous short films as a hobby. He moved to Austin where there was a more localized artistic community, and, in 1985, he founded the Austin Film Society, which is still active today, and works to bring fringe film to the Austin area.