Lin-Manuel Miranda’s life has been anything but normal. From successful parents, to summers in Puerto Rico, to even his name being inspired by a poem, this actor, musician and creator has been immersed in culture and creativity. Miranda had a plethora of inspiration by living in a neighborhood in Manhattan, and has never shied away from producing different forms of art that speak to his unique upbringing. His innovative outlets have brought much success to Miranda and to those around him.
10. Early Beginnings
Though he was born in Washington Heights, Miranda grew up in the Latino neighborhood of Inwood, which is on the island of Manhattan. His parents are successful examples to the young Miranda: His father is a former political adviser and his mother is a clinical psychologist.
His father’s career was one of the first creative outlets for Miranda, as he helped to create a jingle for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s 2006 campaign. After high school, Miranda attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut. It is while in college he wrote the earliest draft of his first claim to fame: In the Heights.
The Wesleyan student theater company Second Stage accepted Miranda’s first draft of the musical, and it was featured at the university in April 1999. He continued to write while in college, as well as act in a range of productions, from musicals to Shakespeare. Miranda graduated from Wesleyan in 2002. He later received an honorary doctorate degree in 2005 from Wesleyan.
Miranda has always been drawn to music, so while at Wesleyan, he also co-founded a hip hop comedy troupe called Freestyle Love Supreme. This troupe still performs regularly in New York City, and has toured to many international comedy festivals. The troupe also had a television series that premiered on Pivot TV in 2014.