Lin-Manuel Miranda, born on January 16, 1980, is an American lyricist, composer, writer, and actor. He has created quite a few award-winning stage productions that blend classic musical theater with modern musical forms. His most famous works include “In the Heights” and “Hamilton.” He also works closely with Disney’s animated movies and wrote lyrics and stories for their Oscar-nominated movie “Encanto.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in New York City to Luis Miranda Jr., a Democratic Party consultant, and Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, a clinical psychologist. He was raised in the Inwood neighborhood, and his name was inspired by a poem named “Nana roja para mi hijo Lin Manuel,” based on the Vietnam War and written by the Puerto Rican writer José Manuel Torres Santiago. He has mentioned that his home was always filled with sounds of salsa and show tunes, which moved him toward showbiz from a young age. He saw his first Broadway musical “Les Misérables” when he was seven. The musical made a lasting impression on him and he decided to pursue his interests.
He also became a proficient rapper while he was in high school and was a regular member of the school’s drama program. It was at that time he met his mentor, Stephen Sondheim, and musical-theater legend, John Kander. Miranda continued his studies at Wesleyan University, where he explored writing musicals and songs. It was there that he wrote the first draft of the musical “In the Heights,” which was set in Washington Heights, a neighborhood similar to that of his childhood. When the musical made its debut on Off-Broadway, it received nine Drama Desk nominations.
After his graduation, he started his acting career with T.V. shows and films. His work included “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “House,” and “The Electric Company.” He also performed with an improv group specializing in hip-hop named Freestyle Love Supreme. The group performed around New York City and at festivals. “In the Heights” made its Broadway debut in March 2008 and won four Tony Awards. The musical was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and the recording of the original cast won a Grammy Award in 2008.
Miranda also created another popular musical based on the Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. The musical titled “Hamilton” was energetic and infectious, and it was commended for featuring a racially diverse cast, with Miranda starring as the titular character. In January 2015, the musical opened Off-Broadway, where its huge success helped them make an early move to Broadway in July. Hamilton was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and that year it received an unprecedented 16 Tony nominations, eventually winning 11 and falling one short of the record. As one of the creators behind “Hamilton,” he also received a special Kennedy Center Honor for developing groundbreaking work that defies categorization.
Miranda also worked on the soundtrack for the Disney animated film “Moana,” for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for the song ‘How Far I’ll Go.’ In the musical “Mary Poppins Returns,” he assumed the mantle of the sidekick to the nanny. He directed his first feature film titled, “tick, tick…BOOM!” in 2021, which is an adaptation of the stage musical. He also wrote ‘Dos Oruguitas’ (Two Caterpillars) for the film “Encanto” (Charm), and the song earned Miranda another Oscar nomination.
Miranda co-founds an improv hip-hop troupe named "Freestyle Love Supreme," and they perform all around the world at comedy festivals.
Miranda's first musical, titled "In the Heights," which also won 11 Tonys, makes its Broadway debut where Miranda plays the role of Usnavi.
Miranda performs an excerpt from “Hamilton” for the White House and that excerpt becomes the opening number, ‘Alexander Hamilton.’
Miranda wins an Emmy for the musical number “Bigger” performed at the 67th Tony Awards.
Miranda's masterpiece "Hamilton" is still enjoying its Broadway run, and is considered one of the most successful musicals of all time.
Miranda writes music for the Disney film "Moana" and earns an Academy Award nomination.
Why We Love Lin-Manuel Miranda
Miranda's Tony speech was so creative
When he won a Tony for "In the Heights," he rhymed his acceptance speech to the original score titled ‘Music and Lyrics.’ His creativity dazzles.
Miranda has an amazing sense of humor
Miranda once trended on TikTok for the wrong reason. So he acknowledged his fault in a freestyle rap that he posted on Twitter.
Miranda is a cultural icon
Miranda's work has had a huge impact on how people view musicals, making him a trendsetting icon in his field. And he has multiple awards to back up his iconic status.
5 Surprising Facts
Miranda has a favorite T.V. show
Miranda is a confessed fan of the television series "The West Wing."
Miranda is close to becoming an EGOT
He is just one Oscar award away from attaining the title of EGOT; he has been nominated but has not won any yet.
Miranda and Chris Hayes are childhood friends
Miranda attended high school with Chris Hayes of "All in with Chris Hayes" fame.
Miranda has a mixed ancestry
Miranda's D.N.A. results showed his genetic ancestry to be 62.9% European, 19.4% East Asian and Native American, 9.7% Sub-Saharan African, 5.4% Unassigned, and 2.7% Middle Eastern and North African.
Miranda is a bona fide genius
This man of many talents, apart from winning awards for his exemplary work, was also awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2015.
Lin-Manuel Miranda FAQs
Does Lin-Manuel Miranda have Filipino blood?
Although mistaken for being Filipino, Miranda is Puerto Rican but very aware of Filipino culture and slang.
How many years did it take Lin-Manuel Miranda to write "Hamilton?"
It took about seven years for Miranda to complete writing “Hamilton.”
How much money did Lin-Manuel Miranda make from "Hamilton?"
Miranda’s largest paycheck of about $6.4 million comes from “Hamilton.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s birthday dates