Martin Scorsese is widely regarded as one of the best filmmakers of all time. If his works, like Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, and Shutter Island, leave you out of breath, you aren't the only one. Martin Scorsese had childhood asthma, but attributes some of his success to the disease.
Scorsese grew up in Little Italy in New York City in the 1940's and 50's. While his friends were outside playing baseball, Scorsese was kept inside. His asthma prevented him from playing sports or roughhousing with other children. It also kept him from getting into crime - his neighborhood was controlled by the mob, and Scorsese saw other kids recruited into the organization.
With little else to do, Scorsese spent hours at home watching television. Some of his favorite childhood moments were when his family took him to the movie theaters. There, sitting in front of the silver screen of the mid-1900's, Scorsese developed his love of cinema.
Scorsese honed his craft at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, making a handful of short films which carry his unique style. Once he graduated, he became friends with influential "movie brats" such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. During this time, he also met Robert De Niro, who would go on to star in many of Scorsese's movies.
From here, Scorsese directed dozens of award winning movies, most of them centered around crime. He made some of the most influential movies of the past 50 years, including Mean Streets, Raging Bull, and The Aviator to name just a few.
Martin Scorsese didn't let asthma hold him back. In fact, it was his asthma that got him into cinema in the first place. By managing his asthma and taking the proper precautions, Scorsese went on to become one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.