President Joe Biden attended a shiva, the traditional mourning gathering in Jewish households, for legendary TV writer Norman Lear on Saturday, according to a White House spokesperson. Lear, who died earlier this week at 101 years old, created numerous shows, including “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”
White House Jewish liaison Shelley Greenspan shared Saturday afternoon that the president was visiting the home of the late producer and his wife Lyn.
Biden has been in Los Angeles for a series of fundraisers, many with Hollywood notables.
The president paid tribute to Lear following his death earlier this week in a statement, describing him as “a transformational force in American culture, whose trailblazing shows redefined television with courage, conscience and humor, opening our nation’s eyes and often our hearts.”
Biden also praised Lear at an L.A. event Friday night, according to a White House press pool report, starting his closing remarks by saying, “You know, in this greatest city of the greatest storytellers in the world, we mourn the losses — and you mentioned Norman Lear. You know, his cast of characters painted a fuller picture of America, of our hopes and our hardships, our fears, our resilience and changed the way we look at ourselves.
“In explaining his approach to getting the laugh,” Biden continued, “to get us to laugh and think, Norman Lear said, and I quote, ‘You stand a better chance if you can get them caring first.’ If you can get them caring first.
“Folks, at our best, we’re a nation that cares. We care about each other; we care about the nation. And in three years, we’re going to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Three years.
“Norman brought an original — bought an original copy of that. And he shared it with schools and museums so people could feel the patriotism that comes from being moved by its words.”
On Wednesday of last week, Lyn Lear briefly honored her late husband at the 2023 Sentinel Awards, one day after his death.
In a prewritten message read aloud by the Norman Lear Center program director Marty Kaplan, Lyn expressed grace and admiration for her husband’s incredible life and legacy.
“I would have been there tonight if not for the passing of our beloved Norman. He was so proud of the work of The Lear Center and Hollywood Health and Society,” she said. “And he would not have wanted all of us to mourn. He would want us to celebrate the important shows you are honoring tonight, and most of all … he would want us to laugh.”