Norman Lear turned 100 years old on Wednesday, and he ecstatic. The legendary screenwriter commented on the momentous occasion in an interview with PEOPLE, where he gave a heartwarming shout-out to his family. He apparently intends to spend Wednesday celebrating with them at home.
"I can't wait to be at my home in Vermont and celebrate with my entire family – my wonderful wife [Lyn Davis,], my six children, my two sons-in-law, and my four grandchildren. How lucky am I?" said Lear. The writer is known for defining at least one generation's worth of TV, and he has worked in the industry for over six decades. He created many of the biggest sitcoms of the 1970s, including All in the Family, Maude and The Jeffersons. Fans were overjoyed to see him reach the milestone of 100 years of life.
Lear has never stopped working either, although he will have a day off on Wednesday. His wife, Davis, is a noted Emmy-nominated filmmaker and political activist, and he was previously married to Charlotte Rosen and Frances Loeb. In total, Lear has six children. He said that he believes parenthood is the most important thing he's ever done with his life.
"Truth to tell, certainly I've done nothing more important than father a child," he reflected. "Nothing more delicious than becoming a grandfather of a child as a result of having fathered a child. I don't know that there's anything more romantic in living than all of that."
"My wife is her own individual and I fell in love with that individual," he added. "And over those years I've only learned more about why I should have cared in the first place and continued to care in the following place. She is a sterling human being. I could not be more grateful for sitting here today."
As for his legendary career, Lear said: "I've never chosen anything to do that I didn't wish to do. My awards and accolades mean a great deal to me, but they don't mean as much as the drive to the studio today. I still explode with joy, excitement, interest and utter delight every time."
Lear has a staggering seven upcoming projects listed on his IMDb page as a producer, including five TV series, a documentary film and a movie. Those interested in Lear's life and experience can check out his memoir, Even This I Get to Experience, which is available now in print, digital and audiobook formats.