Norman Lear, Beloved Television Pioneer, Has Died at 101

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Norman Lear, Beloved TV Pioneer, Dead at 101Bob Riha Jr - Getty Images
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Norman Lear, the beloved television producer, and activist, has died at 101 in his Los Angeles home. Lear's verified Instagram account confirmed the news on Wednesday morning, December 6. "Norman passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023, surrounded by his family as we told stories and sang songs until the very end," it says.

Lear was a six-time Emmy winner who was known for his work in All in the Family, Good Times, and The Jeffersons. He pioneered the idea of the sitcom when he introduced the world to Archie Bunker in All in the Family in 1971. Bunker was a prejudiced and flawed individual, spending his days a blue-collar dockworker whose views often needed to be corrected by his more progressive family. By inviting these characters and their difficult conversations into your home, Lear envisioned the series as a way to talk about modern social arguments on television. It was a massive hit.

All in the Family was followed by even more successful programs, including Sanford and Son, Maude, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, All That Glitters, What's Happening!!, and Good Times. He also produced films such as The Princess Bride and Stand by Me. Throughout his career, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the National Medal of Arts, and multiple lifetime achievement recognitions from the Peabody Awards. Lear was also a very outspoken activist, especially during his later years. After it was announced that the White House—under Donald Trump's presidency—would honor Lear at the Kennedy Center in 2017, the television producer refused to attend.

"Norman lived a life in awe of the world around him," continued the Instagram statement. "He marveled at his cup of coffee every morning, the shape of the tree outside his window, and the sounds of beautiful music. But it was people—those he just met and those he knew for decades—who kept his mind and heart forever young. As we celebrate his legacy and reflect on the next chapter of life without him, we would like to thank everyone for all the love and support."

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