Prolific producer Norman Lear sits with a cigar poised over a birthday cake with 100 candles blazing away.

Prolific producer Norman Lear celebrates a century.

Photo credit: Peter Yang / AUGUST

Prolific producer Norman Lear is still making hits and history as he turns 100.

By Marc Berman

When you think of Norman Lear, one television series probably comes to mind first: All in the Family. But then there’s Sanford and Son. And Maude. And Good Times, The Jeffersons, and One Day at a Time. No other producer in television history, past or present, has dominated the comedy genre like he has.

At a time when comedies like Here’s Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Affair, and Mayberry R.F.D. and TV families like the Bradys and the Partridges were the norm, Lear stepped in and created a place where American culture and social issues were brought to the forefront. And he did it through the voices of his classic characters: Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), Maude Findlay (Bea Arthur), George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley), Florida (Esther Rolle) and James Evans Sr. (John Amos), Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin), and countless others.

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