Liberal TV Icon Norman Lear Turns 100 Norman Lear attends the special screening and Disney FYC of "Live In Front Of A Studio Audience" at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on June 5. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 28 July 2022 10:24 AM EDT
Renowned television producer/writer and liberal activist Norman Lear has turned 100.
Lear created TV shows that included "All in the Family," "Maude," "Good Times," and "The Jeffersons."
His most well-known character was Archie Bunker, whom Lear wrote about in an opinion column for The New York Times on Wednesday, his 100th birthday.
"For all his faults, Archie loved his country, and he loved his family, even when they called him out on his ignorance and bigotries," Lear wrote. "If Archie had been around 50 years later, he probably would have watched Fox News. He probably would have been a Trump voter."
In his column, Lear mentioned TV – which "did not even exist when I was born" – and other technologies that "create new ways for us to express ourselves."
"These technologies have also been used to create connection, community and platforms for the kind of ideological sparring that might have drawn Archie to a keyboard," he wrote. "I can only imagine the creative and constructive possibilities that technological innovation might offer us in solving some of our most intractable problems."
Lear, who flew more than 50 combat missions for the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, said that he took pride in his shows, especially "All in the Family," being ground-breaking.
"The kinds of topics Archie Bunker and his family argued about — issues that were dividing Americans from one another, such as racism, feminism, homosexuality, the Vietnam War and Watergate — were certainly being talked about in homes and families," he wrote in the Times. "They just weren't being acknowledged on television."
On Tuesday, Lear's daughter recorded a video that was posted to Instagram. The TV icon spoke of "the miracle of being alive with everything that's available to us," on turning 100, and on relishing "the moment."
"Living the moment. The moment between past and present, or present and past. The moment between after and next. The hammock in the middle of after and next. The moment. Treasure it. Use it with love," he said.