Nicolas Cage's father dies at 75

August Coppola was a literature professor

Literature professor August Coppola, the father of actor Nicolas Cage, died Oct. 27 of a heart attack outside his home in Los Angeles. He was 75.

Coppola, the brother of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, had two other sons in show business -- actor Marc Coppola and writer-director Christopher Coppola.

Coppola taught literature and served as dean of the college of creative arts at San Francisco State. At the university, he successfully lobbied for a new Creative Arts Building, which now honors him with the 150-seat August Coppola Theatre.

"August Coppola was a singularly creative leader who for almost a decade inspired the students and faculty of our school of Creative Arts," San Francisco State president Robert Corrigan said. "He reminded us all of why the arts matter. That we are more creative than we know. That boundaries are meant to be joyously tumbled over. And to be fully human, we must risk following our imaginations to their very limits.

In 1978, Coppola published "The Intimacy: A Novel" and was working on a second publication at the time of his death.

He also is the inventor of the Tactile Dome -- a three-dimensional, pitch black labyrinth that visitors navigate using the sense of touch -- at the Palace of Fine Arts' Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Coppola also is survived by his companion, Lorrie Tennant, and six grandchildren.