By James Hibberd
April 12, 2017 at 11:01 AM EDT
Greg Doherty/Getty Images

TV legend Norman Lear has just won a Peabody Award.

The producer of classic comedies like All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times and The Jeffersons has been given the distinguished honor by the the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors.

“Norman Lear changed the face of television—and the faces,” the Board said in a statement. “He revolutionized and democratized a traditionally timid, overwhelmingly white-bread medium with a collection of recognizable, risible characters whose racial and gender diversity was as unprecedented as their biases and brash opinions …all the Lear hits shared, to one degree or another, a grounding in the real, polarized America we all knew, not some fantasy nation crawling with dreamy genies, twitchy witches and friendly Martians. In Lear’s watershed shows of the ’70s, no topic was too touchy to tackle—not racial discrimination, not sexism, not homosexuality, not abortion, not even rape. Better than anyone working in television, Lear has created an influential body of work that politicized the personal, personalized the political, and showed us ourselves in all our ridiculousness and nobility.”

Lear will be celebrated at the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony in New York that will air as a television special on PBS. Rashida Jones, a previous Peabody Award winner for Parks and Recreation, will serve as host.

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