What Is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Ethnicity?

Best known for creating and starring in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a household name. His accolades include Tony Awards, Grammy Awards, and even a Pulitzer Prize. Yet, Miranda has never forgotten who he is or where he came from. Much of his work is influenced by his personal life and heritage. There is no doubt Miranda is proud of where he has come from.  But what, exactly, is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ethnicity. Keep reading to learn more about his background.

Miranda was born in Manhattan

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has a wife and kis
Lin-Manuel Miranda of ‘Siempre, Luis’ attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village. | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Miranda was born and raised in northern Manhattan in a primarily Latino neighborhood, Washington Heights. He has spent most of his life in New York, including attending a public high school where he met his wife, Vanessa Nadal. In fact, his first Broadway success, In the Heights, is based on the neighborhood where Miranda grew up. The neighborhood means a lot to both Miranda and Nadal, and they bonded while dating over their favorite parts of the community. The connection is so strong that the movie version of In the Heights features a spot that made his wife cry; in the movie, the building where Nadal’s grandmother lived is filmed. 

Yet as much as Washington Heights means to Miranda, there is another place close to his heart. Much like other locals in Washington Heights, Miranda comes from Latino background. Both his mother and father are from Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory has had an equally significant effect on Miranda and his work. 

What is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ethnicity?

Although Miranda grew up in Manhattan, he spent a month in Puerto Rico with his grandparents every summer. Puerto Rican culture is deeply ingrained in him and his work. Miranda expressed this in a New York Times interview by saying, “I believe I owe a great deal of who I am to this island … It’s a tactile thing. It’s a tempo thing. It’s the pace of life here,” he said when I asked what about Puerto Rico he would want to pass along to his own children — two sons, who are both very young. “It’s the way the world sounds at night. It’s seeing the stars. It’s this oneness with nature that is very natural and real. It is all the things you cannot get in New York City. And it is its culture because the kindest people I know are here.”

As much as the island has given to Miranda, he tries his best to give back. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, the Miranda’s worked together to help. They helped to raise $43 million for the Hispanic Federation’s hurricane relief fund. The family has also developed a fund to support Puerto Rican artists and work to encourage Puerto Rican tourism. 

Miranda saw a bit of his family’s story in Alexander Hamilton

Miranda’s Puerto Rican background is a large part of what spoke to him when he read the biography of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda told Oprah Daily, “As I was reading Ron Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton, I said, ‘This is the most hip-hop sh*t I’ve ever seen.’ Hamilton grew up in the Caribbean and had a hellish childhood, but he transcended his circumstances by writing. That’s how he got the scholarship that brought him to America — which is the same thing that happened with my father, who got a full ride to grad school at NYU after he finished college in Puerto Rico at age 18.”

Indeed, Miranda’s parents grew up in a town that is not wealthy, but he worked hard. After graduating from the University of Puerto Rico, he received a full ride to NYU. Miranda explained immigrants have to work harder and receive less. He saw the drive Hamilton possessed, much like his own father’s determination to succeed. 

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