Born: 29 July 1953
Best known as: The director of the TV documentaries The Civil War and Baseball
Ken Burns is the wonder boy of modern documentary filmmaking, known for his PBS specials on all-American themes like the U.S. Civil War, baseball and jazz. His 1990 mini-series for public television, The Civil War, was a pop culture sensation in America when it aired in 1990. Burns's signature techniques -- particularly his use of a moving camera to explore still photos -- were quickly adopted by other filmmakers and led to something like a renaissance in documentary films. Burns's other major mini-series for public television include Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001) and Mark Twain (2003). He won Academy Award nominations for his documentaries Brooklyn Bridge (1981) and The Statue of Liberty (1986). He returned to the small screen in 2009 with the 12-hour miniseries The National Parks: America's Best Idea, and followed with 2011's Prohibition and 2012's The Dust Bowl.
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