Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor, and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and Scottish descent, and his mother is of Finnish and Swedish ancestry. The family lived in Newton until his parents divorced in 1973 when Damon and his brother moved with his mother to Cambridge. He grew up in a stable community and was raised near actor Ben Affleck.
Damon attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and he performed in a number of theater productions during his time there. He attended Harvard University as an English major. While in Harvard, he kept on skipping classes to pursue acting projects, which included the TNT original film, Rising Son (1990), and prep-school drama, School Ties (1992). It was until his film, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), was expected to be a big success that he decided to drop out of university completely. Arriving in Hollywood, Matt managed to get his first break with a part in the romantic comedy, Mystic Pizza (1988). However, the film did not do too well and his film career failed to take off. Not letting failure discourage him from acting, he went for another audition and managed to get a starring role in School Ties (1992). Up next for Matt was a role as a soldier who had problems with drug addiction in the movie, Courage Under Fire (1996). Matt had, in fact, lost forty pounds for his role which resulted in health problems.