People.com Entertainment TV Norman Lear on His Lasting Career at 98: 'Laughter Has Added Time to My Life' "The laughter I've enjoyed most is laughter that has brought numbers of us together," Norman Lear tells PEOPLE By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines and Breanne L. Heldman Breanne L. Heldman Instagram Twitter Breanne L. Heldman is the Senior Editor of TV for PEOPLE. In this role, she oversees all television coverage — and coverage of TV stars — across print and digital. Heldman joined PEOPLE in April 2018 after two years as Senior Editor at Entertainment Weekly. Prior to that, she held editorial positions at Yahoo Entertainment, MTV, E!, and the New York Daily News. The Boston University alum and Cincinnati native frequently appears as an entertainment expert on programs such as Good Morning America, Access Hollywood and the People Every Day podcast and has moderated panels at Lincoln Center, 92Y, New York Comic Con and more. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 3, 2021 11:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Norman Lear. Photo: Morgan Lieberman/WireImage At 98, Norman Lear is attributing his lasting career in Hollywood to one big integral ingredient: laughter. While speaking with PEOPLE, the prolific television writer and producer expounds on what he meant when he said, "I've never laughed alone" upon receiving the Carol Burnett Award during Sunday's 2021 Golden Globes broadcast. "The laughter I've enjoyed most is laughter that has brought numbers of us together," says Lear, who is known for creating groundbreaking comedy series such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Good Times. Asked about whether he thinks laughter has kept him young or made him ageless, the six-time Emmy Awards winner noted that he knows "from the history of humankind that there's no such thing as ageless." However, "I'm sure laughter has added time to my life as a result of the way it has satisfied every part of me," he adds. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Norman Lear, Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor on All in the Family. CBS via Getty Norman Lear on Turning 98: "I'm Not Concerned About the Going, I Just Don't Like the Leaving" Lear, who is launching a new YouTube channel called The Norman Lear Effect, tells PEOPLE his children and grandchildren were fans of his heartfelt speech at the Golden Globes, which he began in part by saying, "It knocks me out to be introduced by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey." Adding that he "could not feel more blessed," Lear went on to commend Carol Burnett, for whom the award is named, saying "nobody has made me laugh harder." Lear thanked several of his creative partners from throughout his iconic career before going on to say, "Then, of course, there's my family: Lyn Davis Lear, five glorious daughters and my wonderful son, ranging in ages from 26 to 74," as well as "my four fabulous grandchildren." "At close to 99, I can tell you that I've never lived alone, I've never laughed alone and that has as much to do with my being here today as anything else I know," Lear continued. "And once more, thank you and bless you Carol Burnett for everything you have meant to me by way of joy, surprise, delight and laughter," he added of the legendary actress, 87. "So glad we had this time together." Norman Lear in 1979. Joan Adlen/Getty For his contributions to television, Lear — a World War II veteran — has earned six Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, two Writers Guild of America Awards, a GLAAD Media Pioneer Award, an Oscar nomination and many more. Lear has also long been a political activist and philanthropist — something he has incorporated into many of his shows, having broached controversial topics and pushing societal norms well before it was accepted. Along with discussing his illustrious career, PEOPLE also has a first look at the trailer for The Norman Lear Effect YouTube channel, which will serve as a one-stop destination for fans to discover hilarious compilation clips, as well as uncover behind-the-scenes content from his iconic shows, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude. In the trailer, Lear says, "I've been making television for many years — as a writer, director, producer and, most importantly, as a storyteller." Before a series of clips from his most famous works is shown, Lear adds, "My characters have lived a multitude of lives, as have I. And our stories are crafted by writers, cast and crew, but are made real through emotion. When that happens, that moment is wonderful."