March 23, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Groundbreaking television producer, author and social activist
Interpreting services will be provided.
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and phi¬lanthropist. He began his television writing career in 1950, later teaming up with director Bud Yorkin to form Tandem Productions. They produced several feature films, with Norman taking on roles as executive producer, writer and director. He was nominated in 1967 for an Academy Award for his script for Divorce American Style. In 1970, CBS signed with Tandem to produce All in the Family, which ran for nine seasons and won four Emmy Awards for best comedy series as well as the Peabody Award in 1977. All in the Family was followed by a succession of other hit shows including Maude, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, Good Times and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Concerned about the growing influence of radical religious evangelists, Mr. Lear decided to leave television in 1980 and formed People for the American Way, a nonprofit organization designed to speak out for Bill of Rights guarantees and to monitor violations of constitutional freedoms. Norman is chairman of Act III Communica¬tions, a multimedia holding company with interests in the recording, motion picture, broadcasting, publishing and licensing industries. In addition to People for the American Way, Mr. Lear has founded other nonprofit organizations, including The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School, which studies and shapes the impact of me¬dia and entertainment on society, and the Business Enterprise Trust to spotlight exemplary social innovations in American business.
In 1989, he co-founded the Environmental Media Association with his wife Lyn to mobilize the entertainment industry to become more en¬vironmentally responsible. He was among the first seven television pioneers inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame (1984). He is married to Lyn Davis Lear and has six children and 4 grandchildren. Norman Lear's biography, "Even This I Get to Experience", was released by Penguin Books on October 14, 2014.