TV Producer Norman Lear's Cause Of Death Explained

TV producer and the creator of so many legendary comedy shows of yesteryear, Norman Lear, died December 5 at the age of 101 (via US Weekly). While the world has spent a couple of weeks mourning the man behind some of our favorite shows, like "The Jeffersons" and "All in the Family," we have now learned his cause of death — the death certificate cites heart attack as the official cause of death, with congestive heart failure as an additional underlying cause (via TMZ). 

Lear died at his Los Angeles home earlier this month. HIs family released the following statement: "Thank you for the moving outpouring of love and support in honor of our wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Norman lived a life of creativity, tenacity, and empathy. He deeply loved our country and spent a lifetime helping to preserve its founding ideals of justice and equality for all. Knowing and loving him has been the greatest of gifts. We ask for your understanding as we mourn privately in celebration of this remarkable human being."

Congestive heart failure is a long-term condition

Congestive heart failure, which is the leading cause of hospitalizations in those over 65 in the U.S., is a long-term condition characterized by your heart not being able to pump blood to the rest of your body like it's supposed to (via Cleveland Clinic). Because of this glitch in your heart's capacity, blood starts to pile up in different parts of your body, including your lungs, legs, and feet. 

People with this cardiovascular condition experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest pains and irregular heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, bloated stomach and swelling in your legs and feet, nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and other symptoms like coughs and needing to pee at night. Congestive heart failure is caused by heart attacks, cardiovascular issues from birth, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease, among others.  

Norman Lear is said to have had congestive heart failure for years leading up to his death. However, according to the legendary screenwriter's son-in-law, Dr. Jon LaPook, the "Good Times" producer had lived a life of "engaged curiosity" (via CBS News). "He was one of my best friends ... When something's over, it's over and it's on to next ... it's the best definition of living in the moment that he could think of. And that's one of the big lessons that I got from him in my master class of him over all the years is just appreciating the moment," added LaPook.