PORTLAND, Ore. – The Simpsons have been a part of the entertainment world for close to 30 years now and they are part of the fabric of society since their exploits often reflect the struggles of the typical family.
What many people don’t know about the Simpsons is that their creator, Matt Groening, is from Portland Oregon and the fictional town of Springfield where the Simpsons live is actually based on the town of Springfield Oregon.
About Matt Groening
Matt Groening was born in Portland Oregon in 1954 and he attended Ainsworth Elementary, Lincoln High and ultimately Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington where he served as the editor of the school newspaper.
During his early years, Groening became inspired by Disney Animation and the work of Charles M. Shulz, well-known for being the creator of the Peanuts comic strip.
After finishing college Matt Groening moved to Los Angeles where he became a writer and after bouncing around for several years he started the acclaimed comic strip “Life in Hell” that caught the eye of James L. Brooks, a producer in Hollywood, who at the time was producing the now defunct Tracy Ullman show and was interested in creating an animated short that could be a part of the show.
Once he received the offer to create the Simpsons Matt Groening got to work and created a crude version of the world’s most well-known animated family. The early version of the Simpsons appeared in 1987 as part of the Tracy Ullman show until 1989 when it was spun off into its own half-hour show on the Fox network.
The Simpsons are actually based on Matt Groening’s own family and a wide variety of elements in the show also have Portland influences including names of characters like Ned Flanders (Flanders Street in Portland) and Chief Wiggum’s name is based on Matt Groening’s mother’s maiden name.
Since the creation of the Simpsons Matt Groening has achieved huge commercial success in Hollywood and has spun off his genius into other projects including the hit animated series Futurama and as of 2016 he’s in talks with Netflix to develop a new series for the website which has been developing their own original content in recent years.
Today at the age of 62 Matt Groening doesn’t show any sign of slowing down and what’s great about the Simpsons is that as we continue to age we can expect the Simpsons to always stay the same.
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