Facts about Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda Biography
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the gifted creator and star of the Broadway hits In The Heights and Hamilton.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was born to parents of Puerto Rican heritage in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. His father, Luis Miranda, was a fan of Broadway musicals and passed his love of the form on to his son. Lin-Manuel Miranda attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut; while there he wrote the music and lyrics for an early version of In The Heights, a musical based on the Latin and immigrant flavors of his childhood neighborhoods.
After graduating from Wesleyan in 2002, Miranda taught English for a short time and spent years developing In The Heights. He starred as Usnavi, the bodega owner who narrates the story, as the play rose from workshops to off-Broadway (in 2007) and finally to Broadway in 2008. The show ran for 29 previews and 1,184 regular Broadway performances over three years, and won the Tony for best musical, with Miranda also winning the Tony for best original score.
Miranda was still starring in In The Heights when he began work on his next big idea. Having read Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Treasury Secretary and founding father Alexander Hamilton, Miranda began developing “The Hamilton Mixtape,” a series of hip-hop-influenced songs based on Hamilton’s rise and fall. He performed the opening song for President Barack Obama at the White House in 2009; after years of development, the full-blown musical Hamilton debuted off-Broadway at the Public Theater in January of 2015, with Miranda in the title role.
Hamilton’s blend of American history with hip-hop and theatrical music, plus its surprising casting of black and Latin actors in all the leading roles, made it an immediate sensation. Hamilton moved to Broadway in July of 2015 and became the hottest ticket in town, with tickets topping $1000 on the resale market night after night. Miranda proved to be a powerful promoter of the show on Twitter and with seemingly daily appearances on all media as the show became Broadway’s biggest hit in years, receiving a record 16 Tony Award nominations. Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in all, with Lin-Manuel Miranda winning three of those for best book, best score and best musical. His co-star Leslie Odom, Jr., who played Hamilton’s rival Aaron Burr, won for leading actor in a musical. Both Miranda and Odom left the Broadway production after their last performances on July 9, 2016.
Lin-Manuel Miranda won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He was given a MacArthur Fellowship — the awards widely known as “genius grants” — in 2015; the prize came with $625,000 paid out over five years. His book Hamilton: The Revolution, co-written with Jeremy McCarter, was published in 2016 and sold over 100,000 copies in its first year.
Among his other accomplishments, he wrote music for the Disney films Moana (2016) and Encanto (2021), and played the lamplighter Jack in Mary Poppins Returns (2018).
Lin-Manuel Miranda married Vanessa Nadal, a lawyer and MIT graduate, in 2010. Their son, Sebastian, was born in 2014… Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for In The Heights; the book was by Quiara Alegría Hudes. For Hamilton, Miranda wrote music, lyrics and book… Lin Manuel Miranda co-wrote the music and lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical, the 2012 Broadway show loosely based on the 2000 battling-cheerleaders film Bring It On… Lin-Manuel Miranda performs now and then with Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip-hop and comedy troupe he co-founded while at Wesleyan University… His description of the orphaned Alexander Hamilton has been widely quoted: “the ten-dollar founding father without a father.”