28 Facts About Ken Burns


Kenneth Lauren Burns was born on July 29,1953 and is an American filmmaker known for his documentary films and television series, many of which chronicle American history and culture.


Ken Burns's widely known documentary series include The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Prohibition, The Roosevelts, The Vietnam War, and Country Music.


Ken Burns was executive producer of both The West, and Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.


Ken Burns graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor in 1971.


Ken Burns's oldest child, Sarah, is an employee of the company as of 2020.


Ken Burns initially worked as a cinematographer for the BBC, Italian television, and others.


Ken Burns has built a long, successful career directing and producing well-received television documentaries and documentary miniseries.


In 2007, Ken Burns made an agreement with PBS to produce work for the network well into the next decade.


In 2014, Ken Burns appeared in Henry Louis Gates's Finding Your Roots where he discovered that he is a descendant of a slave owner from the Deep South, in addition to having a lineage which traces back to Colonial Americans of Loyalist allegiance during the American Revolution.


Ken Burns is an avid fan of the New York Times crossword puzzle, appearing in the documentary Wordplay, and in a 2022 interview he says he completes the puzzle every day.


Ken Burns is a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, contributing almost $40,000 in political donations.


In endorsing Barack Obama for the US presidency in December 2007, Ken Burns compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln.


Ken Burns said he had planned to be a regular contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Current TV.


In 2020, Ken Burns endorsed Ed Markey in the Massachusetts Senate Democratic Primary.


Altogether Ken Burns's work has garnered several awards, including two Oscar nominations, two Grammy Awards and 15 Emmy Awards.


In 1991, Ken Burns received the National Humanities Medal, then called the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities.


In 1991, Ken Burns received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


In 2004, Burns received the S Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.


In 2008 Ken Burns received The Lincoln Forum's Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement.


Ken Burns was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2011.


In 2012, Ken Burns received the Washington University International Humanities Medal.


In 2013, Ken Burns received the John Steinbeck Award, an award presented annually by Steinbeck's eldest son, Thomas, in collaboration with the John Steinbeck Family Foundation, San Jose State University, and The National Steinbeck Center.


In May 2015, Ken Burns gave the commencement address at Washington University in St Louis and received an honorary doctorate of humanities.


Ken Burns was the Grand Marshal for the 2016 Pasadena Tournament of Roses' Rose Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California.


The National Endowment for the Humanities selected Ken Burns to deliver the 2016 Jefferson Lecture, the US federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities, on the topic of race in America.


Ken Burns was the 2017 recipient of The Nichols-Chancellor's Medal at Vanderbilt University.


Ken Burns often gives life to still photographs by slowly zooming out subjects of interest and panning from one subject to another.


Ken Burns stated in a 2009 interview that he initially declined to have his name associated with the software because of his stance to refuse commercial endorsements.