In 2009, the White House asked a relatively unknown artist to perform at the White House Poetry Jam, where President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama would be in attendance.
The artist had made a name for himself in New York theater circles, winning a Tony Award for his ode-to-home musical, “In the Heights.” But, other than that, few people had really heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Filled to the brim with swagger, he announced to the poetry jam audience that he would perform a song he’d just finished writing, for a work-in-progress hip-hop album.
The song was about founding father and architect of the United States’ financial system, Alexander Hamilton.
Some laughed at the concept. But no one would laugh harder and longer than Miranda. In 2015, his musical “Hamilton” opened on Broadway, making hundreds of millions of dollars and counting.
Here are some delightfully surprising details about the life of the rambunctious, do-it-all artist.