Briefly enrolled in a Roman Catholic seminary when he was 14.
At 18, became one of the youngest publicly elected officials in U.S. history when he won a seat on the Flint, MI, school board.
In 1976, founded both a crisis-intervention center and an alternative newspaper, The Flint Voice, which later became The Michigan Voice.
Started his own production company, Dog Eat Dog Films, in 1986; three years later, made his feature-film debut with the acclaimed documentary Roger and Me.
In the mid-'90s, created the series TV Nation, an irreverent newsmagazine for which Moore served as writer, director and correspondent; it ran for a few episodes on NBC in 1994, then was briefly revived by Fox the following year.
Returned to the public eye in 2002 with Bowling for Columbine, an examination of gun-control laws in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings.
Courted controversy with 2004's Fahrenheit 9/11, which criticized the Bush administration's policies following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; it became the highest-grossing documentary ever, taking in nearly $120 million in the U.S. alone.
Ran afoul of the U.S. Treasury Department over a possible trade-embargo violation when he traveled to Cuba to shoot scenes for Sicko (2007), a biting critique of the American health-care system.
Has written several politically oriented books, including Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American (1998), Stupid White Men...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! (2002) and Dude, Where's My Country? (2003).
Took a critical look at the late-2000s financial crisis with Capitalism: A Love Story (2009).