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Lin-Manuel Miranda

[Photo: Matthew Murphy]

Most Creative People 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Creator, Hamilton | New York

For making history

Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer. He wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the rap musical Hamilton, which opened on Broadway in 2015 following a sold-out run at New York’s Public Theater and has grossed more than $62 million. He also plays the title role. The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album; the show also won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was nominated for a record 16 Tony Awards in 2016. The show’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton,” was previewed at the White House during its first-ever Evening of Poetry and the Spoken Word in 2009, with Miranda and the show’s cast returning to the White House in 2016 to perform selections for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as a group of local students. Miranda’s first Broadway musical, In the Heights, garnered four 2008 Tony Awards, including a Tony for Best Score, and a 2009 Grammy for its original Broadway cast album, and was recognized as a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. 

Off the stage, Miranda is a 2015 MacArthur Fellow and serves in the Dramatists Guild's Council, on New York City’s Theater Subdistrict Council, and is a member and cofounder of Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip-hop improv group. Through the Hamilton Education Program, Miranda is helping 11th graders in New York City public schools learn American history through a series of videos and study guides that Miranda helped develop. He has also used the popularity of the show to help raise money for Graham Windham, the orphanage that Eliza Hamilton started and that is sung about in the show’s closing number.

Miranda received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. He currently lives in New York with his wife, son, and dog.

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