WaltonMuseum.org

Earl Hamner Tribute

Earl Hamner was best known for his role as a writer, creator, executive producer, and narrator of the famous t.v. series The Waltons. Earl passed away March 24th at the LA Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Earl was 92 years old and lost his life after two years of battling cancer. His memory is honored by his wife of sixty one years Jane, his daughter Caroline and son as well as fellow writer Scott.

Walton Museum - Earl Hamner Jr.

Walton Museum - Earl Hamner Jr.

Earl was born in the Virginia's Blue Ridge foothills during 1923. From a very young age Earl made it known that he aspired to become a writer. Growing up whilst the Great Depression was hard for Earl but inspired some of his best work including The Waltons. During WWII Earl served time in the the US Army. After his duty was served he later interned writing for the WLW radio station in Cincinnati. Earl first served as a writer for radio and then later transitioned to television. He wrote for many well known television shows such as The Today Show and The Twilight Zone.

Within each story that Hamner try's to capture he always engulfs a warm, traditional sense of timeless wisdom that brings an affirmation of love which portrayed an undertone that life is always worth living. Earl was a five time winner of the Christopher Award. In 1972 Earl also won the George Foster Peabody Award and in 1973 won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama for producing The Waltons. No matter what level of success that Earl achieved he always remained the same. He stayed true to his love for folkways, traditions, manners and old stories that united his family, friends, tv family and community together. - Some men are drawn to oceans, they cannot breathe unless the air is scented with a salty mist. Others are drawn to land that is flat, and the air is sullen and is leaden as August. My people were drawn to mountains. They came when the country was young and they settled in the upland country of Virginia that is still misted with a haze of blue which gives those mountains their name... In my time, I have come to know them... I have walked the land in the footsteps of all my fathers. I saw yesterday and now look to tomorrow. -This famous quote came from an ending episode of The Waltons which truly reflects on how Earl viewed the world and his life.

Even until his dying day Earl clung to the notion that the past is never dead. For Earl was able to capture the past in television and film keeping his memory and imagination alive for many years to come. His boyhood never faded and his imagination never grew stale. Throughout his many works including The Waltons, Falcon Crest, and even The Twilight Zone, Earl created many wonderful worlds to explore and revisit time after time.