Taylor Edwin Hackford is an American film director and former president of the Directors Guild of America. He won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Teenage Father . Hackford went on to direct a number of highly regarded feature films, most notably An Officer and a Gentleman and Ray , the latter of which saw him nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and Academy Award for Best Picture.Early lifeHackford was born in Santa Barbara, California, the son of Mary , a waitress, and Joseph Hackford. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1968, where he was a pre-law major focusing on international relations and economics. After graduating, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, where he started using Super 8 film in his spare time. The camera was purchased for him by fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Steve Ball.