The series follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randall (known as the "Big Three"), and their parents Jack and Rebecca Pearson. It takes place mainly in the present and uses flashbacks to show the family's past. Kevin and Kate are the two surviving members from a triplet pregnancy, born six weeks premature on Jack's 36th birthday in 1980; their brother is stillborn. Believing they were meant to have three children, Jack and Rebecca, who are white, decide to adopt Randall, an African American child born the same day and brought to the same hospital after his biological father abandoned him at a fire station. Jack dies when his children are 17 and Rebecca later marries Jack's best friend Miguel. Randall becomes a successful finance professional and marries college classmate Beth; they raise two daughters and adopt a third. Kevin becomes a successful actor while struggling to be taken seriously. After lacking direction much of her life, Kate meets and marries Toby, pursues a career in music, gets a degree, and becomes a mother.