Matt Groening

On this date in 1954, Matthew Abraham Groening was born in Portland, Ore., to Homer Groening, an advertising agent and amateur cartoonist, and Margaret Wiggum. Groening was one of four children. Best known as the creator and executive producer of the TV program “The Simpsons,” Groening’s career started when he moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Evergreen State College and began selling Xeroxed copies of his comic strip “Life in Hell,” an irreverent look at a broken life. This original strip was subsequently syndicated, became successful and eventually caught the attention in 1987 of James L. Brooks, executive producer of “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

Looking for a “filler” in the show, Brooks asked Groening to create animated TV “shorts” which became “The Simpsons,” the longest-running animated series in TV history. Groening later created another successful animated TV show, the fantasy-based “Futurama.” In 1993 he formed and became publisher of the “Bongo Comic Group,” overseeing the “Simpsons Comics,” “Itchy & Scratchy Comics,” “Bartman,” “Radioactive Man,” “Lisa Comics” and “Krusty Comics.”

In an mini biography by Kevin Newcombe, Groening is quoted as saying: “Cartooning is for people who can’t quite draw and can’t quite write. You combine the two half-talents and come up with a career.” He produced the adult animated fantasy sitcom “Disenchantment” for Netflix in 2018. Twenty more episodes were scheduled to air between 2020 and 2021.

Groening and Deborah Caplan married in 1986 and had two sons, Homer (who goes by Will) and Abe. They divorced in 1999 and Groening married Argentine artist Agustina Picasso in 2011. They have a son, Nathaniel, and twin daughters, Luna and India.

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