Norman Lear receives writing award

by David A. Bumpus / Beacon Staff • February 19, 2015

Emerson alumnus Norman Lear was chosen to receive the Writers Guild of America East’s Evelyn F. Burkey Award, which recognizes people who have brought “honor and dignity” to writers, according to WGA East’s website.

Lear produced the sitcom All in the Family starting in 1971, which went on for nine seasons, won four Emmy Awards for Best Comedy series, received a Peabody Award and was nominated for 11 Writers Guild Awards.

The award was presented by Bill Moyers at the 67th Annual Writers Guild Awards in New York City on Feb. 14 at the Edison Ballroom.

The award was created in 1978 and honors Evelyn F. Burkey, who helped create the WGA East and served as the organization’s executive director until she retired in 1972.

Lear has been a WGA member since 1951 and started his career writing sketches for Jack Haley, Martin and Lewis, and Martha Raye. He created his first television series, The Deputy, starring Henry Fonda, in 1959.