Jay Leno was born in 1950 in New Rochelle, New York, into a working class family. Leno was raised primarily in Andover, Massachusetts and earned his college degree from Emerson College. While in college, Jay began a comedy club and by the mid-1970’s, he’d begun to accept roles in a number of films and television series, including Fun with Dick and Jane, American Hot Wax, Silver Bears, Good Times, Holmes & Yo-Yo, One Day at a Time, Polyester, Alice, and Laverne & Shirley.
By the late 1980’s, Jay Leno was substituting regularly for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, and so when Carson left the show in the early 1990’s, it was no surprise that Leno was selected to take his place. Today, Jay Leno is most associated with his work on the Tonight Show, although he appears in other entertainment capacities quite regularly, including his own stand-up shows that consistently draw sell-out crowds.
In addition to his work in entertainment, Jay Leno actively supports a number of charities, including Feminist Majority, which seeks to end gender discrimination in Afghanistan and support women’s right to an education. He has also supported a number of scholarships, and participates as the grand marshal for Love Ride, a motorcycle charity event that supports a number of different causes, including Autism and muscular dystrophy research.
Jay Leno is also well known for his extensive vehicle collection, which includes about ninety motorcycles and one hundred cars. He contributes regularly to Popular Mechanics and occasionally also to the Sunday Times, lending his humor to subjects related to automotive maintenance.