The industry icon will kick off the annual conference on Jan. 20, 2015, with reflections of his six decades of storytelling, philanthropy and laughter.
Norman Lear To Deliver NATPE Opener
American television and cultural legend Norman Lear will be the opening keynote speaker of NATPE Miami on January 20, 2015, at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach.
Lear, now 92 years old and fresh off a seven-state book tour for his memoir Even This I Get to Experience”, has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and philanthropist.
“It is nearly impossible to describe Norman’s impact in terms of both creative television hits and catalyzing the national narrative about otherwise untouchable subjects,” says NATPE President-CEO Rod Perth. “For those of us who were in the business or just television viewers, his ability to combine humor and make all of us reexamine our own values, was without equal. He is very simply an American treasure and we are incredibly proud to have him as our keynote.”
Lear began his television writing career in 1950 and became a household name in the 1970s when he produced the iconic series All in the Family, which in its nine seasons on CBS garnered four Emmy Awards for best comedy series and a Peabody Award in 1977. All in the Family was followed by a succession of other hit shows, including Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
Lear founded People For the American Way, a nonprofit organization designed to speak out for Bill of Rights guarantees and to monitor violations of constitutional freedoms. In 1999, President Clinton bestowed the National Medal of Arts on Lear, noting that “Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it.”
He has the distinction of being among the first seven television pioneers inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame (1984). In addition to his awards for All in the Family, he has been honored by the International Platform Association (1977), the Writers Guild of America (1977) and many other professional and civic organizations.
NATPE’s 2015 conference is themed “Content Without Borders.” It will once again be held at the Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach (Jan. 20-22, 2015).