OAN’s James Meyers
12:00 PM – Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Television-producing icon Norman Lear died at the age of 101 on Wednesday.
The producer of the 1970s comedies “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “The Jeffersons” has passed away, according to Lara Bergthold, a spokeswoman for the family who spoke to the press on Wednesday.
“Norman lived a life of curiosity, tenacity, and empathy,” his family said in a statement. “He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. He began his career in the earliest days of live television and discovered a passion for writing about the real lives of Americans, not a glossy ideal.”
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Lear dropped out of Boston’s Emerson College in 1942 to join the military, serving in World War II as a B-17 radio operation and gunner carrying out over 30 missions.
Lear’s shows were nominated for 17 Emmy Awards, in which he won six, including four for the Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton-starring “All in the Family,” which aired from 1971 to 1979.
“He’s 100 years old and still working hard — that says a lot about his drive and passion,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra in an interview with Variety shortly before Lear’s 100th birthday in 2022. “If you look at his body of work, some of his shows were controversial when they aired, but he pushed people to think differently about issues like race and bigotry when it was most needed. His vision and his ideas are always spot on.”
Lear was also inducted into the Emmy Awards Hall of Fame in 1984 and took home Emmys for Outstanding Variety Special in 2019 and 2020.
In 2019, Lear brought back his iconic sitcoms such as “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times” in a performance that was in front of a live audience for the first time ever.
Just before his 100th birthday in 2022, Lear reflected on his 60-plus-year career and said that he was by no means ready to slow down.
“I think the big secret is never forgetting to wake up in the morning. It starts with getting out of bed,” Lear told Variety in the 2022 interview. “But there isn’t a day when there aren’t stories to tell — exciting, relevant and of-the-moment stories.”
Lear was married three separate times and is survived by his third wife, Lyn Davis, whom he tied the knot with in 1987. He was a father of six children: Ellen, Kate, Maggie, Benjamin and twins Madelaine Rose and Brianna Elizabeth.
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