There is no way to overstate Lear's importance in media and beyond. He created "All in the Family" and it was more than groundbreaking when it debuted in 1971 ... a show about a bigoted, blue-collar dude with a family that did not align with his views. The character he created, Archie Bunker, was both despicable and, at times, loveable.
The show tackled issues never touched before on TV ... including homosexuality, racism, the Vietnam War, racism and women's rights. Archie became frenemies with George Jefferson, who became so popular Lear created another monster hit -- "The Jeffersons." Likewise, another character, Maude, played by Bea Arthur, became yet another hit spinoff.
That's just a short list of Lear's hits ... others include "Sanford and Son," "Good Times," "One Day at a Time," and "Diff'rent Strokes."
Lear had a unique knack for creating humor around touchy social and political issues. In short, he changed TV and American culture.
He was an activist until he died ... a staunch liberal who once took on the conservative Moral Majority. He was a die-hard critic of Donald Trump.
His family said in a statement, "Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Norman lived a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy.
Courtesy Act III Productions
They continued, "He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. Knowing and loving him has been the greatest gift."
Lear leaves behind his third wife, Lyn Davis, six kids and four grandkids.