Born on the 15th of February 1954 in Portland, Oregon USA. He grew up in Portland and attended both Ainstworth Elementary School and Lincoln High School. He was the middle of five children. His mother Margaret Wiggum who is Norwegian was a teacher and his father Homer Groening was German and a filmmaker, writer, cartoonist and advertiser.
From 1972 to 1977 he attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington which he described as a "hippie college'