Norman Lear dead at 101: Legendary sitcom writer behind All in the Family and The Jeffersons passes away | The Sun

Norman Lear dead at 101: Legendary sitcom writer behind All in the Family and The Jeffersons passes away | The Sun

LEGENDARY sitcom writer Norman Lear, famously recognized for his work in All in the Family and The Jeffersons, has died at age 101.

Lear died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes, his family spokesperson confirmed to The New York Times.

"Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather," Lear's family said in a statement to Variety.

"Norman lives a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy.

"He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all.

"Knowing and loving him has been the greatest of gifts. We ask for your understanding as we mourn privately in celebration of this remarkable human being."

A private service for immediate family will be held in the coming days, the spokesperson said.

Today anchor Al Roker paid tribute to Lear on social media, sharing: "What a giant of comedy and a genuinely nice man. @thenormanlear will be missed. 101 years of funny."

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised primarily in Massachusetts, Lear was a five-time Emmy Award winner, a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame, and a National Medal of Arts recipient.

Starting as a public relations official in the early 1950s, Lear got his big break as a television writer when CBS picked up his show, All in the Family.

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The show premiered on January 12, 1971, and tackled social and political issues which were deemed controversial at the time.

All in the Family revolves around two working-class white families, the Stivics and the Bunkers, representing the real-life clash of values between the greatest generation and baby boomers living in Queens, New York.

The groundbreaking comedy earned 57 Emmy nominations during its run, winning 22, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

The show is often regarded as one of the most significant series in United States TV history and is ranked fourth in TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, Lear criticized the state of TV shows during the middle and late 1960s: "You looked around television in those years, and the biggest problem any family faced was 'Mother dented the car, and how do you keep Dad from finding out. The boss is coming to dinner, and the roast's ruined.'

"The message that was sending out was that we didn't have any problems."

All in the Family ran until 1979 and dominated the ratings during its run.

In a prolific career that spanned more than six decades, Lear created and developed some of the most innovative comedy shows on television, including Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, One Day at a Time, and The Jeffersons.

The Jeffersons was notable for portraying a wealthy Black couple who moved from Queens to Manhattan and ran a successful dry-cleaning chain as the leads.

During his lifetime achievement award acceptance speech at the 2021 Golden Gloves, Lear paid tribute to his family for being a big part of his life.

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"At close to 99, I can tell you that I've never lived alone, I've never laughed alone, and that has as much to do with my being here today as anything else I know," Lear said.

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

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