'Mother Nurture: Life Lessons From the Mothers of America's Best and Brightest'

What makes someone a star? Some say having the loving support of a mom who helps nuture a dream.

In a series of interviews with the mothers of men and women who've reached the apex in their fields, from sports and politics to entertaiment and business, Stephanie Hirsch sheds light on the life lessons that have helped shape some of America's most well-known citizens.

Hirsch spoke to the inspiring moms of Beyonce, Lance Armstrong, Uma Thurman, Justin Timberlake, Tim McGraw, Cindy Crawford, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Matt Lauer, Alicia Keys, Steven Spielberg and more.

Read the first chapter of "Mother Nuture" below:

Leah Adler, mother of Steven Spielberg


"Never lose your inner child."

When Leah Adler—the mother of the Steven Spielberg, one of the most prominent filmmakers in Hollywood—was asked whether she knew her son was going to be successful she said, "I never really thought about it like that. I thought maybe he would get a job in a supermarket as a carryout boy." While most fifteen year-olds were actually working as carryout boys, Steven had completed his first movie, Escape to Nowhere, and by the time he was sixteen his production of Firelight was shown at a local movie theater. Years later, his production of Amblin' led to his becoming the youngest director ever to be signed to a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio. In the 1970s Steven made his commercial film debut with The Sugarland Express and later became an international superstar with Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Steven is responsible for some of the biggest blockbusters in movie history including: E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List, for which he won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture.

He went on to make Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, the WWII mini-series Band of Brothers, Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and Munich, which received five Academy Award nominations and was Spielberg's sixth Best Director nomination. Steven is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has dedicated himself and his resources to many philanthropic causes including the Righteous Persons Foundation which was established with the profits from Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, which has recorded over 50,000 Holocaust survivors' testimonies. Steven is married to actress Kate Capshaw and is the father of seven children.

When Leah describes her own parents and upbringing, the role models for a son who had the creative wherewithal to make his first movie at thirteen is clear. "Although it really could have been a dismal childhood, it was so full of color. My father was Russian and very into the arts and loved music…He would never walk into a room; he would leap into a room like a Baryshnikov. We were poor and happy." Joy, as Leah described it, permeated her upbringing, including religion. "Shabbat," she said, "was the most glorious day in our house." Passing on the tradition, religion also played a significant role in her household. "We always lit candles and had Shabbat dinner. Although we weren't very religious, the kids were raised in a very traditional home."

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