25 Fun Facts About Lin-Manuel Miranda

Updated on January 30, 2024
Lin-Manuel Miranda fun facts

Lin-Manuel Miranda, a name synonymous with groundbreaking Broadway hits, has a story that goes beyond the stage lights. From his first musical written in high school featuring a vengeful dissected fetal pig to his profound influence on Broadway with “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”, Miranda’s journey is as eclectic as it is inspiring.

His early years in New York’s Washington Heights sparked a deep connection to his Puerto Rican roots, shaping his narrative and musical style. With a background as unique as his name, inspired by a Vietnam War poem, Miranda’s path from a substitute teacher to a cultural icon is laden with unexpected twists. Dive into these fun facts about Lin-Manuel Miranda for a glimpse into the life of the man who redefined modern musical theatre.

1. Early Life: A New York Story

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s journey began in Washington Heights, NYC, born on January 16, 1980, to a Puerto Rican family. His upbringing in this vibrant, culturally diverse neighborhood deeply influenced his creative work. Washington Heights, often called “Little Dominican Republic,” was a melting pot of Latino cultures, particularly Dominican, which shaped Miranda’s artistic vision.

His parents, Luis A. Miranda Jr., a political consultant, and Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, a clinical psychologist, nurtured his connection to his heritage. Miranda’s education at Hunter College High School and Wesleyan University was where his theatrical aspirations took flight, eventually leading to his breakthrough with “In the Heights”​​​​​​.

2. Name Inspiration: A Homage to Poetry

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s distinctive name was inspired by “Nana Roja Para Mi Hijo Lin Manuel,” a poem by José Manuel Torres Santiago about the Vietnam War. This choice by his parents aligns with Puerto Rican heritage and signifies a deep-rooted connection to the arts.

The poem, reflecting on the complexities of war and its impact on families, indirectly foreshadowed Miranda’s own path of storytelling and cultural exploration through his works.

3. Sensitive to Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Childhood Experience

Lin-Manuel Miranda, renowned for his musical genius, displayed an early sensitivity to music as a child. He was particularly affected by minor-key songs, which often moved him to tears. For instance, the song “Feed the Birds” from “Mary Poppins” was so saddening for him that he couldn’t watch the movie’s ending until he was an adult.

This sensitivity extended to other music as well, like Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” which he found emotionally overwhelming as a child. Miranda’s early emotional connection to music foreshadowed his deep engagement with musical storytelling in his later works.

4. Faked Injury to Escape Camp

As a child, Lin-Manuel Miranda had quite the flair for the dramatic, especially when it came to avoiding situations he disliked. One such instance was at summer camp. Unhappy with the camp experience, Miranda went to great lengths to escape it, even faking a spinal cord injury.

This act of youthful creativity and desperation illustrates his early knack for storytelling and theatrics, qualities that would later define his career.

5. First Musical about a Fetal Pig

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first foray into musical theater was as unique as it was unusual. As a high school student, he created a 20-minute musical featuring a maniacal fetal pig, a character born from a nightmare he had about a biology class dissection.

This early work, marked by its distinctive theme and imaginative storytelling, hinted at Miranda’s future as an innovative and creative force in the world of theater.

6. Substitute Teacher: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Early Career

Before he became a Broadway sensation, Lin-Manuel Miranda had a brief but impactful stint as a substitute teacher. Post-college, Miranda taught 7th grade English for a year, and then served as a substitute teacher at his alma mater, Hunter College High School.

This period in his life was a crossroads, where he balanced his passion for the arts with the practicalities of a teaching career. It was during this time that his work on “In the Heights” began to gain traction, leading him to a pivotal decision about his future. His choice to pursue theater full-time was a leap of faith, supported by advice from his father, which ultimately led him to his groundbreaking career in musical theater.

7. Wrote Music for Politicians

Before achieving Broadway fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda used his musical talents in the political sphere. His father, a political consultant, helped him get gigs writing music for ads for New York politicians, including former governor Eliot Spitzer.

Miranda’s compositions for these ads required a keen understanding of tone and messaging, often needing to be “generally hopeful” or transition from “sad strings” to something more upbeat. This experience offered Miranda a unique opportunity to blend his creative skills with the world of politics.

8. Voice of Gizmoduck in DuckTales

In the 2017 reboot of Disney’s “DuckTales,” Lin-Manuel Miranda brought his unique talent to the character of Gizmoduck, also known as Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera. In this incarnation, Gizmoduck is portrayed as a superhero and an intern for Scrooge McDuck’s personal mad scientist, Gyro Gearloose.

Miranda’s casting as Gizmoduck added a Latino twist to the character, aligning with co-producer Francisco Angones’ vision of creating a Latino hero. Miranda, a lifelong fan of “DuckTales,” brought his characteristic enthusiasm and creativity to the role, enriching the diverse cast of the beloved series.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in a recording studio, voicing Gizmoduck

Lin-Manuel Miranda in a recording studio, voicing Gizmoduck. Image: Facebook / DuckTales

9. Early Talents: A Theatrical Spark in Third Grade

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s flair for drama was evident from a young age. As a third-grader, he created an “infamous” video book report on Jean Merrill’s “The Pushcart War,” showcasing his early talent for the stage.

This project, which earned him an A, was a clear indicator of his future in storytelling and performing arts. His father, Luis, originally hoped for Miranda to become a lawyer, but this early display of dramatic talent pointed towards a different path.

10. Cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Lin-Manuel Miranda, acclaimed for his work in musical theater, made a brief but memorable appearance in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” He cameoed as a Resistance fighter, adding his touch to the rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe.

Miranda’s role, though small, is part of a long tradition of surprise appearances in the Star Wars series. In addition to acting, he also contributed musically to the movie, showcasing his diverse talents in one of cinema’s most iconic franchises.

11. Freestyle Rap with President Obama

Lin-Manuel Miranda showcased his exceptional freestyle rap skills at the White House, performing alongside President Obama. In this unique session, Miranda rapped about various topics, including Obamacare, immigration, NASA, and the First Family’s dogs, Sunny and Bo.

President Obama, who is a known rap fan, complemented the performance with some dance moves. This memorable event, part of the “#Bam4Ham” initiative, went viral on social media, further highlighting Miranda’s versatility and the President’s engagement with contemporary culture.

12. We Don’t Talk About Bruno Hit

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Disney’s “Encanto” became a sensational hit, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Its blend of salsa, Broadway, pop, and hip-hop, sung by an ensemble cast, captivated audiences globally.

The song surpassed many records, including topping Adele on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its viral success was amplified by TikTok, where fans celebrated its unique storytelling and embrace of Latin culture. Miranda’s creative process involved a tight turnaround, with the song’s recording done under unique circumstances due to the pandemic.

13. Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Lin-Manuel Miranda was honored with the 2,652nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. His star, dedicated in the category of Live Theatre, is located at 6243 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the Pantages Theatre.

This recognition celebrates Miranda’s extensive contributions to theater and entertainment, including his groundbreaking work on musicals like “Hamilton.” The ceremony included guest speakers “Weird Al” Yankovic and Rita Moreno, commemorating Miranda’s lasting impact on the arts.

Lin-Manuel Miranda at his Hollywood Walk of Fame

Image: cgtn.com

14. Puerto Rico Advocacy: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Heartfelt Effort

Lin-Manuel Miranda, deeply connected to his Puerto Rican roots, has been an ardent advocate for the island, particularly following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. He used his influence to bring attention to the island’s plight, organizing relief efforts and fundraising campaigns. Notably, he released the benefit single “Almost Like Praying,” collaborating with numerous artists to support recovery efforts.

Miranda’s commitment to Puerto Rico extends beyond crisis response, as he consistently uses his platform to highlight the island’s cultural richness and address its ongoing challenges.

15. Co-Founded Freestyle Love Supreme

Lin-Manuel Miranda co-founded the improvisational hip-hop group Freestyle Love Supreme in 2004, alongside Anthony Veneziale and directed by Thomas Kail. The group is renowned for its unique blend of rap, beatboxing, and comedy, performing unscripted, audience-engaged shows.

Their Broadway run at the Booth Theatre and various international performances have showcased their distinctive approach to hip-hop and theater. Freestyle Love Supreme reflects Miranda’s early innovative spirit and love for hip-hop, contributing significantly to his artistic identity.

16. Directed ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’

Lin-Manuel Miranda made his directorial debut with the 2021 film adaptation of “Tick, Tick…Boom!”, a biographical musical about Jonathan Larson, the creator of “Rent”. This project showcased Miranda’s directorial talent, blending his love for musical theater with cinematic storytelling.

Starring Andrew Garfield, the film received acclaim for its performances, editing, and Miranda’s direction, earning numerous awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe for Garfield and nominations at the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Awards.

Lin-Manuel Miranda on the set of "Tick, Tick…Boom!"

Lin-Manuel Miranda on the set of “Tick, Tick…Boom!”. Image: broadwaydirect.com

17. Awards and Honors: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Artistic Achievements

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s impressive array of awards and honors reflects his profound impact on the arts. He has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, five Grammy Awards, three Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Olivier Awards. Additionally, Miranda has received two Academy Award nominations.

In 2015, he was honored with a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Fellows Program. His contributions have also been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, and he received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in December 2018.

Lin-Manuel Miranda at an award ceremony

Image: deadline.com

18. Family Life: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Personal Joy

Lin-Manuel Miranda, renowned for his creative work, cherishes his family life with his wife, Vanessa Nadal, and their two sons, Sebastian and Francisco. The couple reconnected years after high school through Facebook and later married.

Despite his public persona, Miranda maintains a private family life. He makes a conscious effort to shield his children from the limelight, respecting their privacy and normalcy away from his fame.

Lin-Manuel Miranda with his wife

Lin-Manuel Miranda with his wife. Image: glamour.com

19. Net Worth: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Financial Success

Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for his groundbreaking work in theater, has an estimated net worth of $80 million. His wealth comes from various sources, including his hit Broadway musicals like “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” songwriting for movies like “Moana,” and acting roles in films and TV shows.

His significant earnings also include royalties from the massive success of “Hamilton,” which has grossed over $500 million, with Miranda receiving a substantial cut from the box office earnings.

20. Bowie Tribute in ‘Moana’

In the Disney film “Moana,” Lin-Manuel Miranda paid homage to David Bowie with the song “Shiny.” Written by Miranda and performed by Jermaine Clement, who played the villainous crab Tamatoa, the song reflects a glam rock style reminiscent of Bowie.

This tribute emerged from Miranda’s admiration for Bowie’s work, especially influenced by Clement’s Bowie tribute at the Aspen Comedy Festival and Miranda’s personal reflections on Bowie’s music following the singer’s death in 2016.

21. Lived with Burr’s Descendant

In an intriguing twist of fate, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical “Hamilton,” once lived in the same building as a descendant of Aaron Burr. This coincidence adds a humorous and personal connection to the historical figures central to his acclaimed work.

Miranda’s experience with the descendant of Burr, the infamous rival of Alexander Hamilton, brings a real-life connection to the narrative he so vividly brought to life on stage.

22. Talented Family

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family is a rich tapestry of talent and achievement. His father, Luis Miranda Jr., is a political consultant with a longstanding career in public service. His mother, Luz Towns-Miranda, is a clinical psychologist and a board member of Planned Parenthood, focusing on health and reproductive awareness in the Hispanic community. Additionally, Miranda is related to Puerto Rican rapper Residente and singer-composer ILE.

This diverse family background has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping Miranda’s multifaceted artistic talents and perspectives.

Little Lin-Manuel Miranda with his parents and older sister

Little Lin-Manuel Miranda with his parents and older sister. Image: parade.com

23. Friendship with High School Bully

In a remarkable turn of events, Lin-Manuel Miranda revealed that he was bullied in high school by fellow student Immortal Technique. However, their relationship transformed over the years, and they are now friends.

Both Miranda and Immortal Technique have become staunch supporters of immigrant rights and continue to fight against bigotry in their respective ways. This story highlights Miranda’s ability to overcome past adversities and build positive relationships, even with those who once bullied him.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Immortal Technique

Immortal Technique terrorized Lin-Manuel Miranda in high school. Image: mrt.com / versetracker.com

24. Musical Collaboration with Dwayne Johnson

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson collaborated on “Millennials: The Musical,” a 15-minute musical satire. The project was a comedic take on millennial culture, combining Miranda’s musical talents with Johnson’s comedic flair.

Presented on YouTube, it followed the story of Crystal, a 22-year-old New Yorker, and her misadventures in the digital age. This collaboration between the “Moana” co-stars highlights Miranda’s versatility and ability to engage in different genres of entertainment.

25. Identifies with Sebastian from The Little Mermaid

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a special connection with Sebastian, the crab character from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” He shared that as a child and even as an adult, he relates most to Sebastian.

Miranda sees himself in Sebastian, describing the character as a frustrated musician who just wants someone to perform in his concert. This insight into Miranda’s childhood favorites offers a glimpse into the early inspirations that may have shaped his musical career.

Sebastian from The Little Mermaid

Image: fandom.com


Is Lin-Manuel Miranda left handed?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is not publicly known to be left-handed. There is no widely available information regarding his hand preference.

What is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s most famous work?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is most famous for creating and starring in the Broadway musical “Hamilton.” This work has received widespread acclaim and numerous awards, solidifying his reputation in the world of musical theater.

What is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s nationality?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American. He was born and raised in New York City. Miranda is of predominantly Puerto Rican descent, with distant Mexican, English, and African American ancestry.

Why did Miranda write Hamilton?

Miranda was inspired to write “Hamilton” after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. He saw the potential to tell Hamilton’s story through a contemporary lens, using a mix of rap, hip-hop, and traditional musical styles.

What languages does Lin-Manuel Miranda speak?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is fluent in English and Spanish. His bilingual upbringing in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in New York City influenced his proficiency in both languages.

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