Ken Burns has been making films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award nominated "Brooklyn Bridge" in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed "The Civil War" as second only to Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North as the "most influential documentary of all time," and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the "most influential documentary makers" of all time. In March 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, "...Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves." The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source." Ken's films have won 12 Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ken has been the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees and has delivered many treasured commencement addresses. He is a sought after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations, and business groups throughout the country.
Projects currently in production include "The Vietnam War" and a film about the history of country music. And in April 2016, "Jackie Robinson," a two-part, four-hour film directed by Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon will be released. The film tells the story of an American icon whose life-long battle for first class citizenship for all African Americans transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements.
Ken was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. He graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1975 and went on to be one of the co-founders of Florentine Films.