Norman Lear has been behind the creation of some of television’s most iconic series, including Good Times and The Jeffersons among others. Before his television producer and director fame, Lear was also a World War II veteran with a connection to the Tuskegee Airmen.
During the War, Lear served as a bomber plane gunner. These large planes were flanked and protected by the all-Black Tuskegee Airmen squadron. As they flew high over Germany and Italy, the Red Tails fearlessly took on the enemy squadrons during countless missions.
Lear was discharged from the Armed Forces in 1945 and eventually found work as a comedy writer in Los Angeles. This would lead to Lear producing his first smash sitcom, All In The Family, in 1971. Lear’s second show, Sanford and Son, was also a critical darling and ratings hit.
In a recent interview for the New York Daily News, the 93-year-old Lear shared his deep appreciation for the Tuskegee Airmen and will have a reunion of a sort with a Red Tail fighter during New York’s America’s Parade today.