Few Hispanic Americans have made a bigger impact in recent pop culture than Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Miranda was born in 1980 in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City to Puerto Rican parents, who immigrated to New York to pursue academics. Miranda’s mother, Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda is a clinical psychologist, and his father, Luis A. Miranda, Jr. is a Democratic Party consultant and immigrant advocate.
Miranda was raised around musicals and started writing his first title at Wesleyan University in 1999 during his sophomore year. In the Heights, loosely based on his own experiences growing up, would go on to open on Broadway in March 2008. Miranda won his first Tony Award that summer after the show received 13 nominations, earning four wins, including Best Musical.
Influenced by his upbringing in the predominantly Latin Washington Heights, and his frequent vacations in Puerto Rico, the musical was heralded for featuring a largely Latin American cast, with characters often singing and speaking in Spanish.
But Miranda’s largest mark on culture came when his musical Hamilton opened on Broadway in 2015. Following the life of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda reimagined the beginnings of America told by all actors of color, whose ancestors didn’t have a say in how the country was built. The hip-hop musical quickly became one of the most profitable shows to ever hit Broadway.
Miranda once again won several Tony Awards for the show, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.
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