Norman Lear Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at the life of award-winning television producer Norman Lear, the creator of some of television’s most popular shows of his time, including “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son” and “The Jeffersons.”

Birth date:
July 27, 1922
Birth place: New Haven, Connecticut


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Birth name: Norman Milton Lear
Father: Hyman “Herman” Lear, a securities broker/salesman
Mother: Jeanette (Seicol) Lear
Marriage: Charlotte Rosen, (1943-divorced); Frances Loeb (1956-1986, divorced); Lyn Davis (1987-present)
Children: With Lyn: Brianna, Madelaine and Benjamin; with Frances: Maggie and Kate; with Charlotte: Ellen
Education: Attended Emerson College.
Military service: Served in the Army Air Corps, 1942-1945. Air Medal recipient.
Other Facts:
Has won four Emmys out of 14 nominations.
His works are considered groundbreaking because he did not shy away from issues that were controversial at the time, including premarital sex, bigotry, abortion, misogyny and homosexuality.
Well-known to be a political activist. He has written that the character he created who most resembles him is “Maude,” who he said shares “my passion, my social concerns, and my politics.”
At one point, he had nine series running on television simultaneously.
“All in the Family” was the most popular comedy series on television after its first season and consistently shows up on polls listing the best shows of all time.
“All in the Family” had 56 Emmy nominations and won 22 of them.
1945 –
Is hired by George and Dorothy Ross as a publicist in New York City, making $40 a week.
1949 – Moves to California with his wife and daughter and works as a freelance comedy writer.
1950-1959 – Comedy writer for television.
1958 – Creates Tandem Productions with partner Alan “Bud” Yorkin.
1963 – “Come Blow Your Horn,” for which Lear wrote the screenplay, is released. His first movie, it stars Frank Sinatra.
1967 – Writes and produces “Divorce American Style.” The script receives an Academy Award nomination.
1968 – Produces the film, “The Night They Raided Minsky’s.”
1970 – Co-producer of the film, “Start the Revolution Without Me.”
1971 – Produces and directs the movie “Cold Turkey,” which stars Dick Van Dyke.
January 12, 1971-1979 – “All in the Family” airs on CBS.
January 1972-1977 – “Sanford and Son” airs.
September 1972-1978 – “Maude” airs, the first spinoff from “All in the Family.”
1973 – Is named the Man of the Year by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
1973 – Becomes president of American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
1974 – Founds the company T.A.T. Communications (Embassy Communications) with comedian Jerry Perenchio.
1974-1979 – “Good Times,” a spinoff from “Maude,” airs.
January 1975-1985 – “The Jeffersons,” another “All in the Family” spinoff, airs.
1977 – Wins a Personal Peabody Award for creating “All in the Family,” a “comedy with social conscience.”
1975-1984 – Executive producer of “One Day at a Time.”
July 16, 1975 – Receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
January 1976-1977 – “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” airs.
1979-1983 – “Archie Bunker’s Place,” a spinoff of “All in the Family,” airs.
1981 – Founds People for the American Way, with Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and others. The organization’s goals include “reducing social tension and polarizations, encouraging community participation, fostering understanding among different segments of our society, and increasing the level and quality of public dialogue.”
1982-1983 – “Gloria,” a spinoff of “All in the Family,” airs.
1984 – Is inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
1985 – He and partner Jerry Perenchio sell Embassy Communications to the Coca-Cola Company for $485 million in cash and Coca-Cola stock. Founds Act III Productions from the proceeds of the sale.
1989 – Founds the Business Enterprise Trust. Its purpose is to “explore specific acts of bold, creative leadership that combine(d) sound business management with social conscience.” Warren Buffett serves on the board of directors.
September 29, 1999 – Receives the National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts from President Bill Clinton.
January 2000 – The Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California opens.
June 2000 – Buys a signed copy of the Declaration of Independence, and in the following years travels with it to all 50 states on a self-declared “Declaration of Independence Road Trip,” including stops at the 2001 Super Bowl and the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The aim is to bring the document directly to the people and spark civic activism.
2003 – Is the voice of Benjamin Franklin on South Park’s “I’m a Little Bit Country” episode.
October 2014 – His memoir, “Even This I Get to Experience,” is published.
2016 – “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” a biopic of Lear’s life and work, is released.

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