American film and television producer, writer, and screenwriter Norman Milton Lear (born July 27, 1922) are responsible for more than a hundred original series. Among Lear’s numerous successful 1970s sitcoms are the Emmy-winning All in the Family, as well as Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Good Times.
Lear’s continued involvement in television production includes the 2017 remake of One Day at a Time and the 2022 Netflix revival of Good Times.
Lear has been honored with a number of distinctions over his career, including five Emmys, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors. Now he may say he’s in the Hall of Fame of the Television Academy.
Lear is also well-known for his political involvement and his support of progressive and liberal candidates and organizations. To combat the Christian right’s hold on American politics, he launched People for the American Way in 1980 and toured with a copy of the Declaration of Independence in the early 2000s.
Here Are Ten Facts About Norman Lear that Even His Most Ardent Fans Might Not Know
1. In order to further his education, Lear was awarded a scholarship from the American Legion in the area of oratory. He discussed the Constitution’s protection of minorities from discrimination as a Jew, predicting his later commitment to racial equality and constitutional protection.
2. While serving in the military, Lear was a member of the Emerson College Class of 1944.
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3. Between 1942 and 1945, he served in the Army Air Force and conducted 52 combat flights.
4. The British sitcom Till Death Us Do Part served as an inspiration for the American family sitcom All in the Family (1965–75).
5. Many spinoffs were created as a result of the success of All in the Family, including Maude (1972), which followed Edith Bunker’s cousin, a liberal feminist; Good Times (1974), which followed Maude’s black maid and her family in an urban housing development; and The Jeffersons (1975), which followed the Bunkers’ black next-door neighbors, who left Queens for the upper-middle-class life in a high-rise apartment complex in Manhattan.
6. He established the advocacy group People for the American Way in 1980.
7. For all intents and purposes, I am merely a carbon copy of yourself. As soon as we accept that we are only variants of one another, the sooner we will comprehend that we are one. There is a quote by Norman Lear on his statue in front of Emerson College on Boylston Place.
8. He voiced Benjamin Franklin in the 2003 South Park (animated) episode “I’m a Little Bit Country” on Comedy Central.
9. There was a time in his career when he was working on nine different TV shows at once. Factoid alert! He embarked on a self-proclaimed “Declaration of Independence Road Trip” in 2000 after purchasing a signed copy of the document and visited all 50 states over the next decade.
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10. He is Katey Sagal’s godfather.