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Norman Lear, Prolific Activist and Producer Who Changed the Landscape of Television, Dies at 101

HeadlineDec 07, 2023

The legendary television producer and longtime political activist Norman Lear has died at the age of 101. In the 1970s, Norman Lear helped revolutionize TV sitcoms with a string of hit shows including “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times” and “Maude.” Lear’s social and political activism earned him a place on Richard Nixon’s enemies list and the scorn of the Christian right. In response, he founded People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy group, in 1980. This is Norman Lear speaking in a 2016 interview with Democracy Now!

Norman Lear: “I think it was H.L. Mencken who once said, 'Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people.' To some degree, the establishment lives with that and makes its decisions on behalf of the American people with that in mind. I disagree. I think, you know, we are provably not the best educated, but we’re wise of heart, and we understand a lot more than we’re given credit for.”

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