5 Things to Know About 'Hamilton' Star Lin-Manuel Miranda

PHOTO: Composer, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda celebrates on stage during "Hamilton" GRAMMY performance for The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Richard Rodgers Theater on Feb. 15, 2016 in New York City. PlayTheo Wargo/Getty Images
WATCH Lin-Manuel Miranda on the 'Hamilton' Hype

Lin-Manuel Miranda is having a very good year.

His hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" is up for 16 Tony Awards, setting a new record for most nominations in a year.

Miranda, 36, the creator of the hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton, is also up for best actor in a musical.

Here's what you need to know about the man behind "Hamilton" ahead of the June 12 Tony Awards:

He's A Genius

Miranda, who previously won a Tony for his first Broadway musical "In the Heights," was awarded the MacArthur "genius grant" in 2015. But he was already something of a prodigy as a youngster growing up in Inwood, a neighborhood on the northern tip of Manhattan, and was admitted to a school for gifted children.

"I went to a school where everyone was smarter than me. And I'm not blowin' smoke, I...was surrounded by genius, genius kids," Miranda told "60 Minutes" last fall. "What's interesting about growing up in a culture like that is you go, 'All right, I gotta figure out what my thing is.' Because I'm not smarter than these kids. I'm not funnier than half of them, so I better figure out what it is I wanna do and work really hard at that."

He Always Loved To Sing

What Miranda found was theater. He was in nearly every school play and his love of music was fostered at home as a child. His family collected cast albums and Miranda knew every line and lyric.

"He loved to sing," his mother Luz Towns-Miranda told "60 Minutes." "He was always creating and he loved words and songs."

He Identifies With Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton's story is an immigrant's story, and so is Miranda's. His parents moved from Puerto Rico, where they were born, to the mostly Hispanic neighborhood of Inwood. His father, Luis, is a political consultant and his mother is a psychologist. And like Hamilton, whom he plays in the show, Miranda feels a drive to pack as much as he can into his life.

"Here's the thing about Hamilton. I think Hamilton was ready to die from the time he was 14 years old," Miranda told "60 Minutes." "I think what he has is what I have, which is that thing of, 'Tomorrow's not promised. I gotta get as much done as I can.'"

Right after graduating from Wesleyan University in 2002 with a degree in theater arts, Miranda began working on "In the Heights," a musical about his old neighborhood. The show won the 2008 Tony for best musical, and two months later Miranda read Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton while on vacation.

His Most Prominent Supporter Is President Obama

Nine months after reading Chernow's book, Miranda was invited to the White House to perform a song from "In the Heights." Instead, he chose to perform a work in progress that would later become "Hamilton" the musical. The gamble earned him a standing ovation from President Obama, First Lady Michelle and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife.

In March, Miranda returned to the White House with the cast of "Hamilton." This time he did a little freestyle rapping with President Obama in the Rose Garden. A video of their duo went viral.

Miranda Married His High School Classmate

Miranda married wife Vanessa Nadal, a litigation attorney, in 2010.

"We re-met in our mid-20s. She was out of my league in high school -- and then I got cool enough to date her when I was about 25 or so," Miranda told People magazine.

The couple's young son, Sebastian, was born in November 2014.