George Lopez was born in 1961 in California and was raised mostly by his grandparents after his father left the family when he was still very young. He entered the world of comedy and entertainment at the turn of the millennium, when in 1999 he began hosting a morning radio show in Los Angeles. As the first Latino to earn this coveted slot on an English-language station in Los Angeles, his show was a breakthrough not only for his own career, but for comedy in general.
Throughout most of the 1990’s, George Lopez was performing stand-up in the Los Angeles area, until in 2000 Sandra Bullock approached him to discuss a comedy that would be geared more towards the Hispanic community. The two found a home for the show at ABC, and in 2002, George Lopez become one of the few Latinos to host his own comedy series. In addition to starring, Lopez also took on the roles of producer, writer, and co-creator, a milestone for Latinos in entertainment. The show, titled simply George Lopez, aired from 2002-2007, at which time it joined the lineup on Nick at Nite. The show ran until the fall of 2007, when it entered highly successful syndication. In addition to the series George Lopez, Lopez joined the HBO series Inside the NFL as a contributor for the 2003-2004 season, and by 2009, he had developed an interest in his own talk show. Lopez Tonight aired on TBS in November of 2009, and the show ran for two seasons.
Aside from his contributions to television, George Lopez has appeared in a number of films, many to critical acclaim, especially the film Real Women Have Curves (2002.) He also appeared in Bread and roses, Naughty or Nice, The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl, the Spy Next Door, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, and Rio. He has twice hosted the Latin Grammy Awards and in 2009, he appeared at the Inaugural Celebration for President Obama. Lopez’s autobiography, Why You Crying, has also been enormously successful, reaching into the top twenty on the Bestsellers List.
George Lopez’s contributions reach far beyond the world of comedy and entertainment. He is an avid supporter of a variety of charities, especially those that benefit the Hispanic community in which he was raised. Alongside his wife, Lopez heads the Ann & George Lopez Foundation, which seeks to benefit the Mission Hills community of San Fernando Valley. He has participated in fundraising efforts for earthquake victims in Guatemala and El Salvador, an endeavor which earned him the Manny Mota Foundation Community Spirit Award, and in 2004, Lopez was the recipient of Harvard University’s Artist of the Year and Humanitarian Award. For his efforts to support the Latino community as a whole, he has received the Spirit of Liberty Award by the People for the American Way, and his own childhood elementary school has honored him by naming their new auditorium after him. Time Magazine has also recognized George Lopez as one of The 25 Most Influence Hispanics in America.