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Norman Lear, legendary producer behind many favorite shows, talks legacy beyond TV

Posted at 7:56 AM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 10:56:55-04

He has made us smile. He has made us laugh. But most importantly, he has made us think.

Legendary television producer Norman Lear, who's behind iconic shows like All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and One Day at a Time, recently sat down with ABC15's Nick CIletti to discuss his iconic shows and the legacy he leaves behind, which includes an impact off the television screen.

"I am someone who woke up and loved what I was doing that day," explains Lear about the passion he still brings to his work, and at 98, he's showing no signs of slowing down!

Recently, Lear was able to breathe new life into some of our favorites from the 1970s - in Live in Front of a Studio Audience productions of All in the Family, the Jeffersons, and Good Times. He's once again up for several Emmy awards this year -- and you can watch the ceremony on ABC15 Sunday, Sept. 20.

Lear revealed that the character of Archie Bunker was loosely based on his own father and the debates they were having on hot-button issues were ones happening inside his own home, especially when family came to visit.

"As a kid, I waited for the first argument...I could usually count on an argument, usually of a political nature, so that's where it all started for me."

As Lear continues to break new ground on the small screen, he's also working to leave a lasting impact outside of Hollywood as well.

In 1981, Lear started People for the American Way, a progressive non-profit organization that has championed a number of causes. This year, one of those causes is helping to get more Latino voters engaged in the 2020 election.

Arizona currently has 1.2 million eligible Latino voters, according to Pew Research.

"Arizona is one of the most important states when it comes to the Latino vote in this country, "explains Lizet Ocampo, political director of People for the American Way. "Latinos can decide this election."

For more information on People for the American Way, head to

In Arizona, you have until Oct. 5 to register to vote and until Oct. 23 to request a mail-in ballot. To do that, visit Arizona.Vote.