* In 1998, Lear was a signatory to the Statement of Principles of the New Century Alliance for Social Security, a coalition of groups — spearheaded by Institute for America’s Future — that opposed the privatization of Social Security. Other signers included Brent Blackwelder, Heather Booth, Nancy Duff Campbell, Marian Wright Edelman, Mike Farrell, Roger Hickey, Patricia Ireland, Jesse Jackson, Steven Kest, Kweisi Mfume, Robert Reich, Susan Shaer, Eleanor Smeal, Andrew Stern, John Sweeney, and Raul Yzaguirre.
* In 1999 President Bill Clinton honored Lear with the National Medal of Arts, proclaiming that he had “held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it.”
* Lear also has given money to such organizations as EMILY’S List, Progressive Majority, the Sierra Club, and Voters for Choice.
* In 2003 Lear endorsed a statement condemning the Smithsonian Institution’s plan to exhibit the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress used in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. He and his fellow 250+ signers — among whom were Noam Chomsky, Martin Sheen, and Oliver Stone — were opposed to the aircraft being regarded in a “celebratory” manner.
* In the run-up to the 2004 elections, Lear founded “Declare Yourself,” a get-out-the-vote campaign using Hollywood entertainment figures and the Internet to inspire young Americans to become registered voters.
* In 2015 Lear said: “Everybody knows me to be a progressive or a liberal or lefty or whatever. I think of myself as a bleeding-heart conservative. You will not f— with my Bill of Rights, my Constitution, my guarantees of political justice for all. But does my heart bleed for those who need help and aren’t getting the justice that the country promises them and the equal opportunity the country promises? Yes. I’m a bleeding heart, but I think myself to be a total social conservative.
* Lear has won four Emmy Awards and one Peabody Award.
* Since 1979, Lear has contributed more than $1 million to the campaigns of political candidates, virtually all of them Democrats. Among the major recipients of Lear’s donations: Tammy Baldwin, Max Baucus, Xavier Becerra, Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Bill Bradley, Carol Moseley Braun, Robert Byrd, Wesley Clark, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Conyers,Tom Daschle, Gray Davis, Howard Dean, Chris Dodd, Dick Durbin, John Edwards, Russell Feingold, Dianne Feinstein, Al Franken, Richard Gephardt, Al Gore, Alan Grayson, Mark Green, Jesse Jackson, Nancy Keenan, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Frank Lautenberg, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, John Lewis, Kweisi Mfume, Walter Mondale, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller, Bernie Sanders, Patricia Schroeder, Louise Slaughter, Tom Udall, Gore Vidal, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, and Paul Wellstone.