Ryan Coogler was born in Oakland, CA. He was an avid student-athlete and earned a football scholarship to St. Mary's College and later transferred to California State University, Sacramento, where he graduated with a degree in Finance.
Having always harbored a talent for storytelling, Ryan discovered his own passion for filmmaking as a college freshman, and began shooting shorts with his teammates and friends. After being admitted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he went on to create his award winning shorts Locks, Fig and Gap. Locks was shown at Tribeca Film Festival and was winner of Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence, Gap received the Jack Nicholson Award for Achievement in Directing, and Fig won the HBO Short Filmmaking Award, DGA Student Filmmaker Award, and was nominated for the Black Reel Award for outstanding independent short film.
After receiving his M.F.A., he began to work as a juvenile hall counselor before creating his first feature film Fruitvale Station, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to win both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film, two of the festival’s top honors. Following its success at Sundance, Fruitvale Station competed at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival and won the Cannes Prix L'avenir Award in Un Certain Regard. The film was produced by actor Forest Whitaker, stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer.
Later, Ryan went on to write and direct Creed for MGM starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Ryan’s latest film, Black Panther won three Oscars and was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture.
Coogler still resides in the Bay Area with his wife Zinzi Evans.