Remembering Jerry Colbert
We remember Jerry Colbert, A Capitol Fourth Founder and Executive Producer.
The 2017 A Capitol Fourth marks the first broadcast since the passing of Founder and Executive Producer Jerry Colbert. We honor Jerry’s enduring legacy of patriotism and faith, which will continue to inspire this patriotic event at the U.S. Capitol for many years to come.
Jerry’s lifelong calling was to use the medium of television to make a difference and to bring the nation together in the spirit of patriotism and love of country. Every year, A Capitol Fourth and the National Memorial Day Concert, two of television’s longest-running live shows, united the nation by commemorating America’s most important holidays.
Inspired by the mission set out by John Adams to celebrate “with bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other,” Jerry began A Capitol Fourth 38 years ago on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with just a few cameras, a small crew and the National Symphony Orchestra. Since those humble beginnings, the show has grown to become the number one performance program on PBS and America’s National Independence Day Celebration.
Jerry’s energy, creativity and determination led to a national tradition of many years of inspiring broadcasts filled with renowned performers and executed by top-notch television professionals. When reflecting on the meaning and significance of A Capitol Fourth, Jerry shared, “For an hour and a half, we unite the country in this celebratory moment where the joy is absolutely contagious. It’s a wonderful way to share and celebrate our birthday and democracy with all of America.”