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EP 75: Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns on his new film Jackie Robinson

My guest today is renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. He has made 26 documentary specials for PBS including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War (about World War II), The West, and The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait which have earned him 13 Emmy Awards, 2 Oscar nominations, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He has a new two-part documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson which airs April 11 & 12 at 9PM Eastern on PBS.

On today's podcast, Ken Burns will talk about how the first black baseball player revolutionized the game and brought down baseball’s color barrier with the sheer force of his talent. He’ll also talk about how Robinson inspired many civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and the difficult relationship he had with that movement in the later years of his life. Plus Ken Burns will talk about his research process, what he looks for in a story, and how the “Ken Burns effect” ended up on every Apple computer.

If you enjoyed this episode, then be sure to watch Ken Burns' documentary Jackie Robinson April 11 & 12 at 9PM Eastern on PBS. For local listings, visit You can follow Ken Burns on Twitter at @KenBurns or on his website at

Click here to download this episode on iTunes.

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