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Legendary TV Producer Norman Lear Receives AARP’S Highest Honor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 23, 2009
Contact: AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org

LEGENDARY TV PRODUCER NORMAN LEAR RECEIVES AARP’S HIGHEST HONOR
Actor/Director John Amos, Singer/Songwriter Patti Austin Headline Annual Andrus Awards Gala in Las Vegas; AARP receives EMMY® Award for leadership in communication

LAS VEGAS, NV – AARP presented its annual Andrus Award for service to acclaimed television pioneer Norman Lear at a celebration tonight, part of Vegas@50+, AARP’s annual national event and expo. Lear, creator of shows including “All in the Family,” “Sanford & Son,” “Maude,” and “Good Times,” was honored for his influential achievements in socially transformative television, filmmaking, philanthropy and social activism.

“Through his work in television and film, Norman Lear has made us all look more closely at ourselves and the society we live in,” said A. Barry Rand, AARP CEO. “He has challenged us to make life better for all people. That’s what AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, was all about and that’s what AARP today is all about.”

The AARP Andrus Award acknowledges individuals who have generated positive social change in the world and whose work and achievements reflect AARP’s vision of bringing lifetimes of experience and leadership to serve all generations. Past recipients include Tom Brokaw, General Colin Powell, Dr. Margaret Mead, Hugh Downs and Dr. Francis Collins. This year’s premier sponsor is Google.

Lear, one of the most influential individuals in the history of television, is a dedicated philanthropist and activist. In 1980, he formed People For the American Way, a nonprofit organization designed to speak out for the Bill of Rights guaranteed in the Constitution and to monitor violations of constitutional freedoms. Additionally, Lear has founded nonprofits including the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication; the Business Enterprise Trust; and with his wife, Lyn, co-founded the Environmental Media Association.

In 2001, Lear and his wife created the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a four-year educational initiative and national multimedia tour of one of the surviving original copies of the Declaration, which they purchased to share with the American people. As part of the project, Mr. Lear launched Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan youth-voter initiative that registered more than four million new young voters in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 elections.

Also tonight, Herb Granath, Chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, presented AARP’s CEO A. Barry Rand with its prestigious Trustees Award. AARP was recognized for its leadership in communication through print, television and Web innovation.

“AARP is honored to receive this incredible recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. We have a distinguished history of using television to inform, educate and motivate the American people to make life better for people as they age,” Rand said. “This award—while presented in recognition of our past achievements—inspires us to continue discovering new and even more exciting ways of using all of our media properties to foster our commitment to social activism and change.”

Additional information on AARP’s Andrus Award and AARP’s multimedia properties can be found online at www.aarp.org.

Video clips of the event are available at INSERT NEWSMARKET LINK HERE. For photos, please contact Elly Spinweber at 202.403.9645 or espinweber@aarp.org.

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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