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Ken Burns Biography


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Birth Name: Ken Burns
Born: 07/29/1953
Birth Place: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


Burns arrived upon the scene with the Oscar-nominated "Brooklyn Bridge" (1981), a nostalgic chronicle of the construction of the fabled edifice. The film was more widely seen when rebroadcast on PBS the following year. Though Burns has made other nonfiction films for theatrical release, notably an acclaimed and ambiguous portrait of Depression-era Louisiana governor "Huey Long" (1985), PBS would prove to be his true home. He cast a probing eye on such American subjects as "The Statue of Liberty" (PBS, 1985), "The Congress", painter "Thomas Hart Benton" (both PBS, 1989) and early radio with "Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio" (PBS, 1992).

Burns returned to longform documentary with his most ambitious project to date, an 18-hour history of "Baseball" which aired on PBS in the fall of 1994. He approached the national pastime as a template for understanding changes in modern American society. Ironically, this was the only baseball on the air at the time as the players and owners were embroiled in a bitter strike at the time.