Thomas Jeffrey “Tom” Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker known for his leading roles in films such as Big, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, The Da Vinci Code, Cast Away, and many others. Hanks is also ranked as the highest all-time box office star in the world. Hanks was born in Concordia, California to middle class parents and graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland, California. In 1979, Hanks moved to New York City where he began his acting career. His career did not fully take off until the early 1990’s, however, when he starred in A League of Their Own in 1992, Sleepless in Seattle in 1993 and one of his most well-known roles: Forrest Gump, in 1994. Since then, Hanks’ career and image would only grow in popularity, starring in films such as Cast Away, The Da Vinci Code, Charlie Wilson’s War, Toy Story 3, Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks, and many others. Hanks has four children from two separate marriages and is an avid collector of manual typewriters.
Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy
Hanks has been involved in many social and environmental causes over the course of his career. He has avidly supported same-sex marriage in the past and actively promotes environmentalism and alternative energies, specifically electric cars.
Hanks is a supporter of numerous charities in a number of fields including: The American Foundation for AIDS Research, Stand Up to Cancer, the ONE Campaign, the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Woman in the World Foundation, Healthy Child Healthy World, the National Space Society, and many more.
Tom Hanks is also an avid supporter of NASA’s manned space program. In the past, Hanks has said that he originally wished to become an astronaut “but didn’t have the math”. Hanks is a member of the National Space Society and serves on its Board of Governors.