Television and Film Director, Political and Social Activist, & Philanthropist
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and philanthropist. His latest show, a reimagined Cuban-American version of the iconic One Day at a Time for NETFLIX, was rated among the top ten new shows of 2017 and is now entering its second season. Lear’s new podcast, “All of the Above with Norman Lear,” is available on PodcastOne.
Born in 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut, Lear flew 52 combat missions in World War II with the Fifteenth Air Force out of Foggia, Italy, before beginning his television writing career. Lear’s iconic shows of the 1970s and 80s — All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, among others — collectively reached as many as 120 million viewers per week and are said to have transformed the American cultural landscape, bringing the social and political issues of the day into American living rooms.
People For the American Way, the nonprofit organization Lear founded in 1980, remains an influential voice against the radical religious right — and is as relevant and effective as ever.
In 1999, President Clinton bestowed the National Medal of Arts on Mr. Lear, noting that “Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it.” He also has the distinction of being among the first seven television pioneers inducted in 1984 into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was awarded a Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award.
Norman is a husband to Lyn Davis Lear, a father of six and a grandfather of four.