TV producer, political activist Norman Lear dies at age 101

Legendary television producer Norman Lear, whose career spanned 75 years, died Tuesday at the age of 101, his family announced. He died from natural causes, his family said. 

He is best known for writing and producing hit sitcoms, including “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son” and “Good Times.” He won six Primetime Emmy Awards, with his latest coming in 2022 for producing “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Diff’rent Strokes.”

Many of Lear’s series tackled serious topics like racism, gun violence and mental health.

Lear also became a political activist, founding the People for the American Way in 1981. The left-leaning organization was founded in response to the election of President Ronald Reagan. The organization says it works to “defend freedom of expression, oppose censorship, uphold religious liberty, support access to the ballot, and more.”

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Even well into his 90s, Lear was an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump. 

He authored a Washington Post opinion piece around his 99th birthday describing his concerns for American democracy. 

“I am proud of the progress we’ve made in my first 99 years, and it breaks my heart to see it undermined by politicians more committed to their own power than the principles that should bind us together. Frankly, I am baffled and disturbed that 21st-century Americans must still struggle to protect their right to vote,” he wrote. 

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