Edwin "Ed" Samson Friendly Jr. was an American television producer. He was responsible for creating the television programs Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Little House on the Prairie, and Backstairs at the White House. Born in New York City, Ed Friendly served with the United States Army in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. After the war, he worked at the advertising agency of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. He began his television career in 1949, working for ABC as director of sales before moving to CBS as a contract producer and then, in 1959, to NBC as vice president of special programs. Friendly moved to California in 1967 and formed his own production company, Ed Friendly Productions, Inc. He received the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1975 for Little House on the Prairie and in 1978 for Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion, an adaptation of the 1972 children's novel San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion by Marguerite Henry.