Sherman Oaks News
Television Legend Ed Asner Honored
By Alex Mazariegos
Jul 1, 2013 - 1:07:46 PM

Ed Asner with Exceptional Minds instructor Howie Hoffman
SHERMAN OAKS—The Exceptional Minds Digital Arts Academy for Young Adults with Autism awarded television legend Edward Asner with their highest honor, the first ever Ed Asner Exceptional Minds Award, during the June 21 grand opening of an educational studio in Sherman Oaks.


Staff and students of Exceptional Minds gathered to celebrate the actor as well as to commemorate the academy's continuing growth exemplified by the debut of their new facility, which marks the beginning of a three-year expansion effort to increase classroom size and to construct a new working studio for graduates.


Asner joined the school's advisory board early in its origination to help students with the transition after high school; he's been involved since the school's formation in 2011. He has committed significant time towards raising autism awareness. The neural disorder is prominent in the actor's life—he has a son and grandson with autism.


In a press release, Program Director Ernie Merlan said, “Ed is a friend and inspiration to all of us at Exceptional Minds, not only because of all that he has done in his career, but because he is tireless when it comes to his commitment to Exceptional Minds. He is our hero, our friend, our inspiration.”


Students produced an animated tribute to Asner that they presented to him during the opening.


Asner is known for his wide repertoire in television and film, including the classic “Mary Tyler Moore” show, Pixar's “Up” and other productions. He has been nominated for 20 Emmy awards, and he has won seven. He also served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981 to 1985. To learn more about Exceptional Minds visit

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