Tybie Sokol

Written by Tybie Sokol

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Thehill.com

LeVar Burton is a name that is synonymous with the entertainment industry. From his iconic role as Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking series, “Roots,” to his beloved role as Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Burton has left an indelible mark on the world of television and film. But there is so much more to this talented actor and director that many people may not be aware of. In this article, we will explore 25 surprising facts about LeVar Burton that showcase his diverse talents, his enduring impact on popular culture, and his unwavering commitment to promoting literacy and education. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be dazzled by the fascinating life and career of LeVar Burton!

Key Takeaways:

  • LeVar Burton, known for “Star Trek” and “Reading Rainbow,” is a passionate advocate for education and literacy, using his influence to inspire children and make a positive impact in the world.
  • From his iconic roles to his advocacy for social justice and diversity, LeVar Burton continues to inspire and make a difference, showing that anyone can strive for greatness and create a positive impact.
Table of Contents

LeVar Burton was born on February 16, 1957.

LeVar Burton, known for his iconic roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Reading Rainbow,” was born on February 16, 1957, in Landstuhl, Germany.

Burton started his acting career at a young age.

LeVar Burton began his acting career as a teenager, appearing in the groundbreaking miniseries “Roots” in His compelling performance as Kunta Kinte garnered critical acclaim and launched his career in the entertainment industry.

“Reading Rainbow” had a tremendous impact on children’s literacy.

LeVar Burton hosted and produced the beloved children’s program “Reading Rainbow” from 1983 to The show encouraged a love for reading in young viewers and won a total of 26 Emmy Awards during its run.

Burton is a passionate advocate for education.

LeVar Burton is a vocal supporter of education and the importance of literacy. He has been actively involved in initiatives that promote reading and learning, using his influence to make a positive impact in the lives of children around the world.

LeVar Burton’s role as Geordi La Forge became an inspiration for many.

LeVar Burton portrayed the character of Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” becoming a role model for individuals with visual impairments. His character’s determination and intelligence resonated with audiences and further cemented his status as a respected actor in the sci-fi genre.

Burton served as the host and executive producer of the podcast “LeVar Burton Reads.”

In 2017, LeVar Burton launched the podcast “LeVar Burton Reads,” where he shares his favorite short stories and showcases his storytelling abilities. The podcast has garnered a large following and has been praised for its engaging content.

He has received numerous awards for his work.

Throughout his career, LeVar Burton has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry. He has received multiple Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and the George Foster Peabody Award, among other prestigious honors.

LeVar Burton is a talented director.

Aside from acting, Burton has also directed several episodes of popular television shows, including “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Charmed,” and “NCIS.” His directing skills have been widely praised by colleagues and fans alike.

Burton co-founded the production company “The Wolper Organization.”

In 2004, LeVar Burton co-founded “The Wolper Organization” alongside the late legendary producer David L. Wolper. The production company has been involved in the creation of highly acclaimed documentaries and television programs.

LeVar Burton has a passion for technological innovation.

He has been actively involved in promoting digital literacy and encouraging young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Burton understands the important role that technology plays in modern society.

He has narrated numerous audiobooks.

LeVar Burton’s soothing voice and captivating storytelling abilities have made him a popular choice for narrating audiobooks. He has lent his voice to a wide range of literary works, elevating the listening experience for book enthusiasts.

Burton has made guest appearances on various television shows.

In addition to his iconic roles, LeVar Burton has made memorable guest appearances on popular television series such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Community,” and “Glee.” His cameos have delighted fans and showcased his versatility as an actor.

LeVar Burton is an advocate for social justice.

Burton uses his platform to highlight social issues and promote equality. He has been actively involved in organizations and movements that aim to create positive change, advocating for racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and other important causes.

He is a dedicated family man.

LeVar Burton is a loving husband and father. He values his family deeply and often shares glimpses of his personal life, spreading joy and positivity to his followers on social media.

Burton has a strong online presence.

LeVar Burton actively engages with his fans through social media platforms. He shares updates about his projects, encourages discussions on important topics, and provides insight into his personal life, making him accessible and relatable to his followers.

LeVar Burton has received honorary degrees.

In recognition of his vast contributions to the arts and education, LeVar Burton has been awarded honorary degrees from several esteemed institutions, including the University of Southern California and Knox College.

He appeared in the music video for the song “Word Crimes” by “Weird Al” Yankovic.

LeVar Burton made a memorable cameo appearance in the music video for “Word Crimes,” a parody song by “Weird Al” Yankovic that humorously highlights proper grammar and language usage.

Burton has been involved in philanthropic endeavors.

LeVar Burton supports various charitable organizations and actively participates in fundraising efforts. He believes in using his success and platform to give back to those in need.

LeVar Burton is a skilled voice actor.

His distinctive voice has led to numerous voice acting roles in animated series and films. Notable examples include his portrayal of Kwame in “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” and Mufasa in “The Lion King” television series.

Burton has a close friendship with his “Star Trek: The Next Generation” co-stars.

LeVar Burton has maintained strong bonds with his fellow cast members from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” since the show ended. They often reunite for conventions and public appearances, demonstrating their enduring friendship.

He embraced new media platforms.

LeVar Burton recognized the power of new media platforms early on and successfully transitioned his content to digital formats. Through podcasts, YouTube videos, and social media, he continues to connect with fans and share his passion for storytelling.

Burton has been recognized for his contributions to children’s literature.

In addition to his work as a host and advocate for literacy, LeVar Burton has written several children’s books. His stories encourage imagination and curiosity, inspiring young readers to explore the world of literature.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1994, LeVar Burton received a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, honoring his contributions to the entertainment industry and his positive impact on children’s literacy.

LeVar Burton has been a voice for diversity in Hollywood.

Burton has consistently advocated for increased representation and diversity in the entertainment industry. He has used his platform to speak out against inequality and push for more opportunities for underrepresented voices.

He continues to make a difference in the world.

LeVar Burton’s impact extends beyond his acting career. Through his advocacy, humanitarian efforts, and passion for education, he continues to inspire and motivate individuals of all ages to strive for greatness and make a positive impact in the world.


LeVar Burton is truly a remarkable individual with a mesmerizing career that spans acting, directing, and activism. From his iconic role as Kunta Kinte in “Roots” to his beloved tenure as the host of “Reading Rainbow,” Burton has left an indelible mark on popular culture.

With his infectious passion for literacy and dedication to promoting education, Burton has become an inspiration to millions of children and adults worldwide. Furthermore, his recent success with the “Jeopardy!” guest hosting stint showcases his enduring popularity and versatility.

As we delve into the 25 surprising facts about LeVar Burton, it becomes clear that his impact reaches far beyond the entertainment industry. From his deep-rooted philanthropy to his unwavering commitment to bettering the world, Burton exemplifies what it means to be a genuine role model. His remarkable journey continues to inspire and enrich the lives of countless individuals, making him an incomparable force in the realm of celebrity.


1. What is LeVar Burton’s most famous role?

LeVar Burton’s most famous role is undoubtedly that of Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television miniseries “Roots.” His portrayal of the enslaved African man brought the complex narrative of American slavery to the forefront and earned him widespread acclaim.

2. How long did LeVar Burton host “Reading Rainbow”?

LeVar Burton hosted “Reading Rainbow” for an impressive 23 years, from 1983 to 2006. During this time, he encouraged children to develop a love for reading and exploration, leaving a lasting impact on generations of young minds.

3. Did LeVar Burton win any awards for his work?

Yes, LeVar Burton has received numerous accolades throughout his career. He has been honored with multiple Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on “Reading Rainbow” and has also received a Grammy Award for the audiobook narration of “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

4. Is LeVar Burton involved in any philanthropic efforts?

Absolutely! LeVar Burton is actively involved in various charitable ventures. He is a co-founder of the “Read More Co.” initiative, which aims to increase literacy rates in underserved communities. Additionally, Burton has worked with organizations like the AIDS Research Alliance and the Children’s AIDS Fund.

5. What recent role did LeVar Burton undertake?

LeVar Burton made headlines in 2021 as one of the guest hosts on the popular game show “Jeopardy!” His appearance garnered significant attention, as fans rallied behind him to become the permanent host after the passing of Alex Trebek.

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