Jared attended Madison High School in San Antonio, Texas. He was a Presidential Scholars Program candidate in 2000, his senior year. Padalecki began taking acting classes in Texas when he was twelve. He was one of two 1999 "Claim to Fame" contest winners at the Teen Choice Awards on FOX. At the awards show he met his current manager, who is also Freddie Prinze Jr.
Before joining Gilmore Girls, Padalecki filmed a pilot for NBC that was never picked up. He planned to attend the University of Texas but changed his mind when he won the role of Sam.
Most recently, Jared was awarded his own show, Supernatural
, in which he co-stars with Jensen Ackles.