Kevin Hart was born in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1980. He has one older brother, Robert Hart, and was raised by his single mother, Nancy, because his father, Henry, was in and out of jail most of his childhood. His father was a cocaine addict, but Kevin used his natural ability to make people laugh as a coping mechanism to deal with his family struggles and to stay out of trouble. His relationship with his father is much better now that he has recovered from his addiction. Kevin said in an interview with the New York Times, “My dad said, ‘I was supposed to be on drugs,’ ” Hart said. “I was like, ‘Dad, shut up,’ but then I thought about it, and it was stupid, but it made sense. He was saying that, basically, he was my example to never go down that road.”
After high school, he moved to New York City to attend Community College. He attended college for two years, and after graduating, he lived in Brockton, Massachusetts working as a shoe salesman. It wasn't until he got his first big break, when he performed stand-up at an amateur night club in Philadelphia, that he began pursuing a career as a comedian. Kevin's relationship as a child with his addict-father was almost non-existent, but he's shared this reality with his audiences many times. Now, this relationship is much better, especially since his father has successfully recovered from addiction and taken steps to get his life on track. Kevin has joked about there being positives and negatives to his father's addictive behavior, one positive being that "There is no such thing as a bad idea to a coke-head", but a negative being "when your dad shows up to a spelling bee stoned and roots for it like a sporting competition." Raised by a single parent, Kevin also talks about his mother in his stand-up routine, portraying her as a loving though intimidating woman. In 2006, she passed away from cancer. Showing that humor runs in the family, at her funeral, Kevin's uncle came up to him and said "Kevin, I just want to let you know whoever did this is going to die tonight." Kevin's response was "Cancer did it. It was cancer." To this, his uncle's reply was, "Well, you tell Cancer I'm looking for him, and when I find him, I'm going to shoot him in the face.... twice."
In 2003, Kevin married Torrie Hart and they had two children, Heaven Leigh and Hendrix. In February 2010, the couple filed for divorce over "irreconcilable differences." Hart requested joint custody and looked to prevent Torrie from receiving money in the divorce, due to the fact that she is a comedian herself with a sufficient income to support herself. The pair's relationship troubles have made their way into both of their stand-up acts. Even though rude remarks were made about one another over the course of the divorce, Kevin says there are no hard feelings, "We just didn't work out, but we're friends.
Kevin has appeared in several notable gigs outside of his stand-up career and the big screen. In 2012, Kevin was voted MVP of the NBA Celebrity All-star game, regardless of the fact he was ejected in the fourth quarter for cursing at the ref and taking off one of his shoes and throwing the other across the court. He had eight points and six assists in the game. Kevin also hosted the 2012 VMA Awards, sponsored by MTV. His long time friend Judd Apatow, who was the director that gave him his first big break on-screen with the TV series Undeclared, was the one who recommended him for the gig. Stephen Friedman, the MTV president, said that it’s “that combination of being intimately connected and yet still a little bit like, ‘Oh, my God, what am I doing here? That allows our audience to have a really powerful connection to someone that feels more like a friend, versus someone who’s a distant talent up on the stage.” Kevin hopes that this will project him further into the hosting career, “Hopefully after MTV, of course we’re talking Emmys, Oscars, whatever.” In 2005, he was nominated for the BET Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award. In 2012, Kevin walked away with a Best Actor trophy from BET for his performance in the box office hit movie Think Like A Man.