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Ken Burns: America's Storyteller

Daniel Hautzinger
Ken Burns. (Courtesy of Justin Altman)
(Courtesy of Justin Altman)

The name Ken Burns is synonymous with documentary. Since his first feature, the 1981 Brooklyn Bridge, which was nominated for an Academy Award, he has created nearly thirty documentaries about the great stories of America. From his epic, multi-part explorations of the Civil War, baseball, and jazz to sketches of significant figures like Jackie Robinson, the Roosevelts, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, he has distinguished himself as an integral narrator of American history.

Ken Burns: America's Storyteller, which celebrates the filmmaker's career with such icons as Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Wynton Marsalis, and Yo-Yo Ma, is rebroadcast Saturday, March 11 at 12:42 pm and Tuesday, March 14 at 10:00 pm. Here are some clips highlighting both Burns and his career.

In this interview, Burns explains the significance of his huge 1990 series The Civil War, and how his entire career led to that point.

When Burns appeared on the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. series Finding Your Roots, he was dismayed to learn that his ancestry was perhaps not as patriotically American as him.

In September, 2017, Burns' latest documentary premieres on PBS: a monumental examination of the Vietnam War.