The Life And Times Of Norman Lear

His Father Served Time In Prison & Was The Inspiration Behind Archie Bunker

Archie Bunker
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Norman’s father was arrested for selling fake bonds and was sent to prison when his son was just nine years old. Norman has referred to his father, who spent three years in the clink, as a “rascal” and partially based the character Archie Bunker on him. However, Archie was a white Protestant. He also based Edith Bunker partially on his mother.

Bunker was racist, sexist, and difficult to deal with, which was similar to Norman’s father. His mother was very distant with her children, and Norman spent many of his formative years with relatives.