Lin-Manuel Miranda was born on January 16, 1980 in New York to clinical psychologist mother Luz Towns and Democratic Party consultant father Luis A. Miranda, Jr. His parents got the name Lin-Manuel from a poem about the Vietnam War, "Nana roja para mi hijo Lin Manuel", by the Puerto Rican writer Jose Manuel Torres Santiago.
Miranda has loved music since he was a child as he spent his time writing jingles, including one which was later used for Eliot Spitzer's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. He wrote the first draft of "In the Heights" in 1999, before graduating from Wesleyan University in 2002. John Buffalo Maler and director Thomas Kail later joined Miranda to revise "In the Heights" draft along with book writer Quiara Alegria Hudes, who joined them in 2004. The show's huge success off-Broadway led it to its Broadway run in 2008.
"In the Heights" nabbed 13 nominations at Tony Awards and won four them, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actor in a Musical for Miranda's role as Usnavi. The show also won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Miranda left "In the Heights" in 2009, only to come back in July 2010, before the production closed on January 9, 2011 after 29 previews and 1,185 regular performances.
Following "In the Heights", Miranda worked as an English teacher at his former high school while writing for the Manhattan Times as a columnist and restaurant reviewer. He also composed music for commercials as well as starred on several TV shows, including "The Sopranos", "House M.D.", "Modern Family" and "Sesame Street". He tied the knot with high school friend Vanessa Adriana Nadal in 2010, and sang "To Life" at the wedding reception.
His next musical project, "Bring It On: The Musical%", later premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2011. After playing in a limited engagement on Broadway at the St. James Theater, "Bring It On" closed on December 30, 2012. It earned Miranda Tony Awards nominations for Best Musical and Best Choreography.
In 2013, Miranda went back to the small screen, appearing in a season 9 episode of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother". Still in that year, he submitted six-song demo package to Walt Disney Animation Studios before the studio hired him to write songs for 2006's "Moana" in spring 2014. In 2014, he performed with comedy duo The Skivvies, participated in "This American Life" and appeared in the "Encores!" revival of "Tick, Tick... Boom!", which was directed by Oliver Butler. Miranda later was honored with a 2014 Emmy Award for the song "Bigger!", which he co-composed with Tom Kitt. Also in 2014, Miranda and Nadal's first son Sebastian was born.
One of Miranda's best works, "Hamilton", which he'd been working on since 2009 after reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, premiered off-Broadway at The Public Theater in January 2015. Directed by Thomas Kail, "Hamilton" was based on "Hamilton", an album he worked on during the development of the musical production. Miranda wrote the book and score and starred as the titular character. "Hamilton" later opened on Broadway on August 16, 2015, bringing in over 700 people to line up for lottery tickets. In December 2016, Miranda released "The Hamilton Mixtape".
The huge success of "Hamilton" brought 16 Tony Awards nominations, besting previous record-holders "The Producers" and "Billy Elliott". The musical won 11 of them, including Best Musical, Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Score, Featured Actor in a Musical, Featured Actress in a Musical, Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design of a Musical and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. It also won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Miranda also helped write a song for the scene in Maz Kanata's Cantina in 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Later in 2016, Miranda took the offstage cameo role of Loud Hailer in the Broadway production of "Les Miserables". Miranda, along with the cast of "Hamilton", was later invited to the White House to perform and host workshop. Miranda and Jeremy McCarter later published "Hamilton: The Revolution" in April 2016. The book was about Hamilton's journey from conception to Broadway success and discussing the cultural revolution that permeates the show. In the same year, Miranda received an honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award.
Following the premiere of "Moana" in November 2016, his works for the critically-acclaimed movie earned him several awards. It included Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, and Academy Award nominations for the song "How Far I'll Go". In addition to writing "How Far I'll Go", Miranda recorded a duet with Jordan Fisher of the song "You're Welcome".
In July 2017, Miranda earned an Emmy nomination for his hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live". He is scheduled to star in the Rob Marshall-directed "Mary Poppins" sequel "Mary Poppins Returns". His next projects included Lionsgate's film adaptation of "The Kingkiller Chronicle" in which he will serve as creative producer, and "Vivo". Miranda was also tapped to voice Fenton Crackshell/Gizmoduck in the 2017 reboot of "DuckTales" and write additional songs with Alan Menken for Disney's upcoming live-action flick of "The Little Mermaid".