Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 1041-1051. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
Directed 3 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Emil Jannings, George Bancroft and Marlene Dietrich. Jannings won for his performance in The Last Command (1928).
Father of Nicholas Josef von Sternberg
He had an intense creative and sexual relationship with Marlene Dietrich.
He maintained such a tyrannical, imperious personality when shooting films that Robert Mitchum threatened to throw him off a pier when they were shooting Macao (1952).
Interviewed in Peter Bogdanovich's "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Chuck Jones, Fritz Lang, Joseph H. Lewis, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, Frank Tashlin, Edgar G. Ulmer, Raoul Walsh." NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
Was voted the 37th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.