Best Known For
Matt Groening is a cartoonist and creator of The Simpsons, the longest-running entertainment series in prime time television.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Matt Groening was born on February 15, 1954, in Portland, Oregon. He attended Evergreen State College and was the editor of the campus newspaper. He moved to LA in 1973 and sold his comic strip "Life in Hell" to the LA Weekly. Producer James L. Brooks, asked Groening to create animated shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show and The Simpsons was born. The show has earned 10 Emmys and run for 22 seasons.
Cartoonist Matt Groening was born on February 15, 1954, in Portland, Oregon. Groening (rhymes with "raining") grew up as the middle of five children, born between older sisters Patty and Lisa and younger siblings Mark and Maggie. Though he later borrowed some of their names for characters in The Simpsons, the real members of Groening's family bore little resemblance to their cartoon namesakes. His father, Homer Groening, was an English major and World War II vet who was a respected documentary filmmaker; mother Margaret Wiggum Groening never had blue hair.
After growing up an artistic kid in Portland, Groening attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, a nontraditional public university that he has called a haven for "self-disciplined creative weirdoes." He was the editor of the campus newspaper and an avid cartoonist. Though he loved cartooning, he never considered it a viable career option. "I thought I was going to make crazy cartoons for the rest of my life," Groening said. "I didn't think I'd ever get paid for it, didn't think I drew well enough, but I knew it made me happy."
That changed when Groening met fellow Evergreen student and cartoonist Lynda Barry. Inspired by Barry's ability to make a living selling her comics to alternative papers, and influenced by other underground cartoonists like Robert Crumb, Groening graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles in 1973 to work as a writer. After spending a few years working miserable part-time jobs, Groening sold his comic strip "Life in Hell" to the alternative LA Weekly in 1980. "Life in Hell" soon gained nationwide syndication, earning Groening a huge following and spawning books and collections. Groening still writes the comic, which ran in LA Weekly until 2009, when the struggling paper could no longer afford to pay him. The strip still runs in many other alternative newspapers, however.
The success of "Life in Hell" attracted the attention of a writer and producer named James L. Brooks, who contacted Groening to see if he'd be interested in creating a series of animated shorts to run on the sketch comedy series The Tracey Ullman Show. Groening invented a dysfunctional family whose names he mostly borrowed from his own parents and siblings. ("Bart," not a member of the real Groening family, is an anagram of "brat.") The Simpsons family premiered on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. Ullman's show was soon canceled, but the Simpsons were popular enough to earn their own spin-off series, which premiered in 1989.
profile name: Matt Groening profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Left-handed people are a rare breed—only 10 percent of the general population is a lefty. There isn't a definite scientific explanation of why people are left-handed, and although it might be an inconvenience for some, it's actually an advantage in sports. Legendary lefty athletes include baseball player Babe Ruth and basketball star Larry Bird. They're in good company with a wide variety of famous faces from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey to composer Wolfgang Mozart and entrepreneur Bill Gates.
Famous Lefties 91 people in this group
Famous Aquarians 556 people in this group
We may all think we're comedians, but sadly, we're not. Good thing there are so many truly funny people out there to make us laugh. Some comedians use their wit and smarts to make clever jokes and poke fun, while others use their physicality and appearance to to keep us doubled over. Formats range from stand up comedy and sketch comedy to talk shows, and subjects include politics, everyday life, and the comedians themselves. Here's a look at the famous comedians who've kept us laughing over the years.
Famous Comedians 206 people in this group