Statement from President Joe Biden on the Passing of Norman Lear

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By Jacob Jackson

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Norman Lear, a giant of American television and a champion of social justice. Norman was not only a brilliant producer, writer, and director, but also a trailblazer who used his platform to tackle the most pressing issues of his time, from racism and sexism to war and poverty. He gave voice to the voiceless, and made us laugh, cry, and think along the way.

Norman’s groundbreaking shows, such as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, and Maude, reflected the diversity and complexity of our nation, and challenged us to confront our prejudices and biases. He created unforgettable characters, such as Archie Bunker, Fred Sanford, George Jefferson, and Maude Findlay, who became part of our cultural fabric and our collective conscience. He also inspired generations of writers, producers, and actors, who followed his example of using comedy as a tool for social change.

Norman Lear

Norman was more than an entertainer, he was an activist and a philanthropist, who devoted his life to advancing the causes he believed in. He founded People for the American Way, an organization that defends democracy and civil rights, and he supported numerous other progressive groups and candidates. He also launched a nationwide tour with a copy of the Declaration of Independence, to remind us of our founding ideals and our shared responsibility to uphold them.


Norman was a friend and a mentor to me, and I will always be grateful for his wisdom and generosity. He was a true patriot, who loved his country and his fellow Americans. He was also a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who leaves behind a remarkable legacy of family and friends. Jill and I send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Lyn, his children Ellen, Kate, Maggie, Benjamin, Brianna, and Madeline, and his entire family. We join them in celebrating Norman’s extraordinary life and honoring his lasting contributions to our nation. He will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.

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