Norman Lear In Photos: Sitcom Writer’s Hits Include ‘All In The Family,’ ‘The Jeffersons’

Lear changed popular culture by presenting TV families that faced the same problems as everyday Americans.
Television writer and producer Norman Lear.
Television writer and producer Norman Lear.
Bettmann/Getty Images

TV writer Norman Lear, whose hits include “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and “Sanford and Son,” died Tuesday at age 101.

Lear changed sitcoms by bringing the struggles of everyday Americans onto the screen, incorporating concerns about money, race, women’s rights, bigotry and more into his shows.

“I had realized that the shows that were on television for years like ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘Petticoat Junction,’ which are perfectly good shows, had episodes where the biggest problem a family might face would have been that the roast was ruined when the boss was coming over t dinner,” Lear said in 2016.

Here are some memorable moments from Lear’s life and career, in photos:

Norman Lear (left) was a gag writer on "The Colgate Variety Hour," which aired in the early 1950s.
Norman Lear (left) was a gag writer on "The Colgate Variety Hour," which aired in the early 1950s.
NBC/Getty Images
Writers on the set of "The NBC Comedy Hour," including Lear (far right) on Jan. 19, 1956.
Writers on the set of "The NBC Comedy Hour," including Lear (far right) on Jan. 19, 1956.
NBC/Getty Images
Lear (right) speaks with Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor on the set of "All in the Family" on Dec. 22, 1970.
Lear (right) speaks with Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor on the set of "All in the Family" on Dec. 22, 1970.
CBS/Getty Images
Lear (left) speaks with guests including Groucho Marx (right) at a cocktail party held for Lear at the 21 Club in New York City on May 1, 1972.
Lear (left) speaks with guests including Groucho Marx (right) at a cocktail party held for Lear at the 21 Club in New York City on May 1, 1972.
CBS/Getty Images
Lear, creator of the CBS television series "Maude," is shown in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, 1972.
Lear, creator of the CBS television series "Maude," is shown in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, 1972.
CBS/Getty Images
American actor Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) joins Lear at a press conference in LA to announce the filing of a lawsuit to abolish the family viewing hour on major U.S. television networks on Oct. 30, 1975.
American actor Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) joins Lear at a press conference in LA to announce the filing of a lawsuit to abolish the family viewing hour on major U.S. television networks on Oct. 30, 1975.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Lear (center) speaking with series star Louise Lasser (left) and co-star Greg Mullavey (right) on the set of TV show "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" in between takes in April 1976.
Lear (center) speaking with series star Louise Lasser (left) and co-star Greg Mullavey (right) on the set of TV show "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" in between takes in April 1976.
John Bryson/Getty Images
Lear, wife Frances Loeb and daughters Maggie Lear and Kate Lear attend the 30th annual Writer's Guild of America Awards on March 30, 1978, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Lear, wife Frances Loeb and daughters Maggie Lear and Kate Lear attend the 30th annual Writer's Guild of America Awards on March 30, 1978, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Ron Galella/Getty Images
Lear attends the book party for "A Political Affair" on Sept. 23, 1979, at Paul and Mickey Ziffren's home in Malibu, California.
Lear attends the book party for "A Political Affair" on Sept. 23, 1979, at Paul and Mickey Ziffren's home in Malibu, California.
Ron Galella/Getty Images
Lear gets a laugh from Sen. Edward Kennedy as the two talk aboard Kennedy's campaign plane flying over Iowa. Lear joined the Kennedy entourage during the Democratic presidential candidate's Iowa swing, traveling as what Lear termed "an observer" in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 7, 1979.
Lear gets a laugh from Sen. Edward Kennedy as the two talk aboard Kennedy's campaign plane flying over Iowa. Lear joined the Kennedy entourage during the Democratic presidential candidate's Iowa swing, traveling as what Lear termed "an observer" in Sioux City, Iowa, on Dec. 7, 1979.
Bettmann/Getty Images
Lear, wife Frances Loeb and his mother attend the fifth annual William O. Douglas Awards on March 26, 1981, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Lear, wife Frances Loeb and his mother attend the fifth annual William O. Douglas Awards on March 26, 1981, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Ron Galella/Getty Images
Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, former CBS Chairman William S. Paley and Lear smile for photographers as they are inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in Hollywood, California, on Jan. 21, 1984.
Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, former CBS Chairman William S. Paley and Lear smile for photographers as they are inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in Hollywood, California, on Jan. 21, 1984.
Bettmann via Getty Images
Lear at home, Feb. 27, 1984, in Los Angeles.
Lear at home, Feb. 27, 1984, in Los Angeles.
Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images
Lear (right) with singer Linda Ronstadt and actor Robin Williams at the Dinner Dance for People of the American Way on Oct. 24, 1985, at the Puck Building in New York City.
Lear (right) with singer Linda Ronstadt and actor Robin Williams at the Dinner Dance for People of the American Way on Oct. 24, 1985, at the Puck Building in New York City.
Ron Galella/Getty Images
Actor and film director Rob Reiner (right) and Lear pose together during a 1987 Los Angeles photo portrait session.
Actor and film director Rob Reiner (right) and Lear pose together during a 1987 Los Angeles photo portrait session.
George Rose/Getty Images
Lear snuggling between Bea Arthur (left) and Jean Stapleton (right) at the 10th anniversary of People for the American Way on Nov. 2, 1990.
Lear snuggling between Bea Arthur (left) and Jean Stapleton (right) at the 10th anniversary of People for the American Way on Nov. 2, 1990.
Robin Platzer/Getty Images
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (center) and ABC journalist Diane Sawyer (R) exchange stories from their college days as Lear looks on, Nov. 9, 1993.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (center) and ABC journalist Diane Sawyer (R) exchange stories from their college days as Lear looks on, Nov. 9, 1993.
HAI DO/AFP/Getty Images
President Bill Clinton along with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton award Lear with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award on Sept. 29, 1999, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
President Bill Clinton along with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton award Lear with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award on Sept. 29, 1999, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images
Lear and Drew Barrymore speak at a press conference announcing the National Youth Voter Empowerment Campaign in Washington on Nov. 13, 2003.
Lear and Drew Barrymore speak at a press conference announcing the National Youth Voter Empowerment Campaign in Washington on Nov. 13, 2003.
Linda Spillers/WireImage/Getty Images
David Schwimmer and Lear during the Rape Treatment Center'a annual benefit in Beverly Hiils on Oct. 2, 2005.
David Schwimmer and Lear during the Rape Treatment Center'a annual benefit in Beverly Hiils on Oct. 2, 2005.
Donato Sardella/WireImage/Getty Images
Lear, 85, in Los Angeles on March 7, 2007.
Lear, 85, in Los Angeles on March 7, 2007.
Tim Rue/Corbis/Getty Images
Actor Hayden Panettiere poses with Lear as she registers to vote at the Declare Yourself offices in Beverly Hills on Aug. 21, 2007.
Actor Hayden Panettiere poses with Lear as she registers to vote at the Declare Yourself offices in Beverly Hills on Aug. 21, 2007.
Eric Charbonneau/WireImage/Getty Images
Lear sits for a portrait at his home in Los Angeles on May 21, 2009.
Lear sits for a portrait at his home in Los Angeles on May 21, 2009.
Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel presents a live, 90-minute prime-time event in tribute to classic television sitcoms in May 2019. "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'" teams Kimmel with Lear and executive producers Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Justin Theroux.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel presents a live, 90-minute prime-time event in tribute to classic television sitcoms in May 2019. "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'" teams Kimmel with Lear and executive producers Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Justin Theroux.
Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Popular in the Community

Close

What's Hot