François Truffaut was one of the most influential figures in film history. He was largely self-taught, but became one of France's leading film critics during the 1950s. His promotion of the "auteur theory" (politique des auteurs) eventually revolutionized film criticism and led to a re-evaluation of the work of Abel Gance, Max Ophuls, Roberto Rossellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Nicholas Ray, and others. He and his colleagues at the pioneering French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma developed a more personal, freewheeling vision of filmmaking that achieved world fame as the French New Wave (Nouvelle vague). Truffaut was born on to an unmarried mother, a circumstance that would shape much of his life and work. He was taken in by his maternal grandparents. In 1933, his mother married Roland Truffaut, an architectural draftsman, who adopted young François, but he didn't live with them until 1939. Many details from his childhood, freely reworked, can be found in Truffaut's semi-autobiographical debut film, Les 400 Coups (The 400 Blows, 1960). As a teenager, he joined various film clubs and societies, where he earned a reputation for his outspoken opinions on films and directors. He was befriended by older intellectuals and cultural figures such as André Bazin, Louise de Vilmorin, and Jean Cocteau. In 1950, Truffaut got a job as a society reporter for Elle magazine and quickly established a reputation as a film critic. Through his work at Cahiers du cinéma and his frequent attendance of screenings at the Cinématheque Française headed by Henri Langlois, Truffaut became friends with other young critics who eventually became leading filmmakers of the French New Wave. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the peak of the New Wave, Truffaut created and directed a brilliant series of films. In the 1970s, he made other notable films, especially his homage to moviemaking Day for Night (1973), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The Last Metro (1980), a portrayal of complicated moral choices during the Occupation, received 10 Césars, including Best Picture. In 1981, he published the book Les Films de ma vie (Films in my life); his correspondance was translated and published posthumously in 1988. In 1983, Truffaut was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died at age 52.