Although George Lopez is perhaps best known as a Mexican-American comedian, he was actually born in California in 1961. Lopez's early life was not an easy one. His father left him when he was an infant and his mother followed suit when George was only ten years old, leaving George to be raised by his maternal grandmother. Lopez started performing stand-up comedy in the early 80s and soon became a standard on the stand-up circuit. His big break came in 1999, when he hosted a radio show in the Los Angeles area, becoming the first Latino to have a radio program in a key morning time slot. Several guest appearances in shows and movies soon followed and, in 2000, George hit it big as the star and creator of the “George Lopez Show,” a situational comedy starring George as the head of a Latino family surrounded by dysfunctional relatives. The show, produced by Sandra Bullock (yes, THAT Sandra Bullock), was successful and ran on ABC from 2002 to 2007. After its run, George again appeared in guest spots as well as continuing with his stand-up comedy routine. In 2009, he got his own talk show, "Lopez Tonight," on TBS.
Although quick-witted and clever, some of George's comments have occasionally got him intro controversial altercations, most notably with Kirstie Alley, whom he called a "pig" and well-known comedian, Carlos Mendicia, whom he accused of stealing stand-up material from him. He has even criticized Jay Leno, calling him a "back stabber" and "two-faced." In his personal life, Lopez married Ann Serrano in 1993, and together they had a daughter named Mayan. Although the relationship lasted seventeen years, the couple divorced in 2010, citing irreconcilable differences. But with all the controversy and heartbreak, Lopez has remained a multi-talented individual, even authoring an autobiography titled "Why You Crying?: My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter" in 2004, which chronicled his early life and how it led him to the path of comedy.
While he appears seemingly gregarious and content, Lopez has, unfortunately, suffered many health issues, mainly due to a rare genetic condition which affects his kidneys. In 2005, he underwent a kidney transplant, with the organ being donated by his then wife, Ann, and Lopez has since become a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. Today, George Lopez continues to entertain audiences worldwide and in 2005, was named by Time magazine as one of the Top 25 Hispanics in America.