Miranda was born in a Manhattan neighborhood in Washington Heights, a mainly Latino community called Inwood; his parents were originally of Puerto Rican descent. Miranda's mother's side of the family includes a couple; David and Sophie Towns, who spent their lifetimes trying to outlaw slavery, and his father is a retired political advisor.
Miranda attended Hunter College Elementary School and then went on to Hunter College High School, in which time found his passion for music and literature. Miranda's childhood revolved around his passion for music, and he began taking piano lessons at a very young age. Throughout his childhood, Miranda was always creating lyrical pieces, and also helped create a jingle used in an Eliot Spitzer 2006 campaign. Miranda then graduated and went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he pursued a degree in theater studies until graduation in 2002.
While at college, Miranda brought to life what would be his first musical creation, In The Heights, for which he drafted and revised the songs along with John Mailer; the partners worked with director Thomas Kail, who would later direct Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda explained that parts of his own childhood were written within the lyrics of songs in In The Heights. The musical brought great success in its Off-Broadway production and then earned its Broadway debut in 2009, and continued to play until its final performance on January 9, 2011. Miranda won a Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance. He also revived the role of Usnavi in several productions on the tour of In The Heights.
Miranda did most work for the stage, but also made appearances on television, such as his appearance in The Sopranos, a 2007 television series. Miranda was also a composer and writer of the revival in 2009 of The Electric Company.
Aside from his stage and acting career, Miranda worked as a high-school English teacher at his own former school, composed music for various commercial purposes and wrote for the Manhattan Times.In 2008, while on vacation from his role as Usnavi in In The Heights, Miranda picked up a copy of the biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow while at an airport. Ideas were forming into concepts, which had the possibility of a musical to Miranda, and based on the book, Miranda performed a short rap composed by himself at the 2009 White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word, accompanied by Alex Lacamoire, who was playing the piano. After gaining and incredible response, Miranda began to draft and write songs reflecting the life of Secretary Alexander Hamilton, spending countless hours revising and editing; Miranda mentioned that he spent nearly a year creating and perfecting the song "My Shot", a tedious display of Alexander Hamilton's incredible literary sense and knowledge.
Miranda launched The Hamilton Mixtape, a production by the Vassar Workshop cast, which was performed at the Vassar Reading Music Festival. The songs remained the same from the current Broadway Cast Recording, except for some cut songs, added songs, and lyrical differences. Ron Chernow and Miranda notably won the 2015 History Makers Award from the New York Historical Society for Miranda's creation and Chernow's inspiration in Hamilton.
In early January 2015, an Off-Broadway production of The Hamilton Mixtape, newly called Hamilton, at The Public Theater in New York. After it becoming an Off-Broadway success, Hamilton earned its spotlight at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway, where it has ever since been gaining positive reviews and incredible response.
In early 2016, Miranda performed the role of Loud Hailer in the Broadway revival production of Les Misérables, which he explained was his childhood dream of taking part in, ever since Les Misérables was the first Broadway show Miranda had seen as a child. Lin-Manuel Miranda began to widen visibility and he, along with Off-Broadway and Broadway Production actress of Hamilton, Phillipa Soo, took part in the creation of music for the Disney animation, Moana.
Currently, Miranda has out one publication on Hamilton, called Hamilton: The Revolution with Jeremy McCarter, which explained the creation of the musical and the inspiration behind the lines and songs.
Miranda's most foremost awards include a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, two Grammys, three Tony Awards and an Emmy.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda took the role of Alexander Hamilton in both The Hamilton Mixtape and Hamilton; however, he left the Broadway production on July 11, after which time the role was resumed by Javier Muñoz.
- Miranda's hair was cut short for his performance in In The Heights; it was grown shoulder-length to replicate the longer hair styles worn in the 17th-18th centuries during the American Revolution. He cut it short again after resigning from Hamilton.
- Miranda has made occasional appearances at performances in Chicago after its initial opening.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award for "Best Original Song" in the movie Moana, titled "How Far I'll Go", but did not win the award.
- Miranda won two of the three Tony's he's won in total at the 2016 Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical and Best Score, chanting "Love is love" while winning Best Score for Hamilton.