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Legendary TV and movie producer Norman Lear dies at age 101



INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Norman Lear, the legendary television and movie producer behind groundbreaking sitcoms “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” has died at age 101.

Lear died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, according to a statement on his official website. A private service for immediate family members will be held.

Lear wrote and produced a series of groundbreaking TV series in the 1970s, including “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” and “One Day at a Time.”

His expertly crafted shows and characters challenged social norms, dealt openly with issues like racism, sexism, and sexuality, and started conversations about the country as a whole.

“Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it,” President Bill Clinton said in presenting Lear with the National Medal of Arts in 1999.

Lear was also the executive producer of the cult movie classics,“The Princess Bride” and “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

Not slowed down by age or ego, Lear continued working well into his 90s. He became the oldest recipient of an Emmy Award in 2019 and then broke his record in 2020, both for installments of “LIVE in Front of a Studio Audience,” which featured live reenactments of some of his classic TV programs.

“I attribute my long life and success to the laughs, the wisdom and the hard work of so many hundreds of people over my lifetime. To think of them now is to bring me enormous joy, of course I’m too old to remember your names but I’ll never forget your faces,” Lear said on his 100th birthday.

A New Jersey native who dropped out of college to fight fascism, Lear flew 52 missions on a B-17 bomber during World War II. Once in Hollywood, he dedicated himself to political activism, taking part in campaigns for religious liberty, freedom of expression, voting rights, and marriage equality.

In 1981, Lear founded People for the American Way, a nonprofit progressive advocacy group.

“Norman loved this country, and he loved defending its ideals,” Svante Myrick, president of People for the American Way, said Wednesday. “We will honor Norman by carrying on the work to which he dedicated so much of his life.”

Lear is survived by his wife, six children, and four grandchildren.

Instead of flowers or gifts, Lear requested that contributions be made to People for the American Way.

Learn more about the life and work of Norman Lear online at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center.

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