Jay Leno Grew Up in This Massachusetts Town
Contrary to popular belief, comedian Jay Leno was not born in Massachusetts, but he grew up here.
James Douglas Muir Leno was born on April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, New York. Early television fans will remember that Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) lived in New Rochelle on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961-1966 on CBS.
Leno's mother, Catherine Muir, was born in Scotland. His father Angelo was born in New York to immigrants from Italy.
When Jay was a child, his family moved to Andover, Massachusetts, where he graduated from Andover High School. Leno earned a bachelor's degree in speech therapy from Emerson College in Boston.
Leno opened a comedy club in Boston in 1973.
Jay Leno married his wife, Mavis Nicholson, in 1980. The couple had no children.
Leno appeared in several television programs and films during the 1970s, including appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night With David Letterman.
A regular substitute host for Carson since 1986, Leno replaced him as host from 1992-1999 and again from 2010-2014. Jimmy Fallon took over in 2013 when Leno stepped away from The Tonight Show.
Leno is a collector of cars (169) and motorcycles (117) and suffered serious injuries in collisions involving both.
Leno was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2014. Johnny Carson, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles and George Carlin are among Leno's many influences.
Since leaving The Tonight Show, Leno has hosted You Bet Your Life and Leno's Garage. He writes columns for Popular Mechanic and an occasional piece for The Sunday Times.
Andover News says Leno performed in Lowell, Massachusetts, in October 2022, and spent the following day taking pictures with fans.