World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Geraldo Rivera

Article Id: WHEBN0000156507
Reproduction Date:

Title: Geraldo Rivera  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Media coverage of the Iraq War, Geraldo at Large, The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults, Phil Keating, Michelle Malkin
Collection: 1943 Births, 20Th-Century American Writers, 21St-Century American Writers, American Journalists of Jewish Descent, American Journalists of Puerto Rican Descent, American Male Writers, American People of Russian-Jewish Descent, American Political Writers, American Radio Personalities, American Reform Jews, American Television Reporters and Correspondents, American Television Talk Show Hosts, Brooklyn Law School Alumni, Cnbc People, Conspiracy Theorists, Fox News Channel People, Jewish American Writers, Journalists from New Jersey, Journalists from New York City, Living People, New Jersey Lawyers, New Jersey Republicans, New York Lawyers, New York Republicans, Participants in American Reality Television Series, Peabody Award Winners, People from Edgewater, New Jersey, People from Middletown Township, New Jersey, People from West Babylon, New York, University of Arizona Alumni, Writers from Brooklyn, Writers from New Jersey, Writers from New York City
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera
Rivera at The Source Awards, September 23, 2010
Born Gerald Michael Rivera
(1943-07-04) July 4, 1943
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Alma mater University of Arizona
Brooklyn Law School
Occupation Journalist, talk show host, writer, attorney
Years active 1970–present
Organization Fox News Channel
Television Geraldo
Geraldo at Large
Political party Republican[1]
Religion Reform Judaism[2]
Spouse(s) Linda Coblentz (m. 1965–69)
Edith Vonnegut (m. 1971–75)
Sherryl Raymond (m. 1976–84)
C.C. Dyer (m. 1987–2000)
Erica Michelle Levy (m. 2003)
Children 6
Family Craig Rivera (brother)

Gerald Michael Rivera (born July 4, 1943),[3] better known as Geraldo Rivera (),[4] is an American attorney, reporter, author, and talk show host. Rivera hosts the newsmagazine program Geraldo at Large and appears regularly on Fox News Channel. He is also well known from his history as a reporter and TV personality, and as the host of the talk show Geraldo from 1987 to 1998.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Early stages 2.1
    • Talk shows, specials and guest appearances 2.2
    • Fox News to present 2.3
    • Present 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Author 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Rivera was born at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, New York, the son of Lillian (née Friedman), a waitress, and Cruz "Allen" Rivera (October 1, 1915 – November 1987), a restaurant worker and cab driver.[5][6] Rivera's father was a Catholic Puerto Rican,[7] and his mother is of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent. He was raised "mostly Jewish" and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.[8][9] He grew up in Brooklyn and West Babylon, New York, where he attended West Babylon High School. Rivera's family was sometimes subjected to prejudice and racism, and took to spelling their surname as "Riviera" because they thought it sounded "less ethnic".[10]

From September 1961 to May 1963, he attended the State University of New York Maritime College, where he was a member of the rowing team.[11][12] In 1965, Rivera graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. degree in business administration, and he played goalie on the lacrosse team. After a brief career in law enforcement, wherein he served the New York City Police Department as an investigator, Rivera entered law school. He received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1969 near the top of his class; following graduation, he held a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship in poverty law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the summer of 1969 before being admitted to the New York State Bar later that year.[13]

After working with such organizations as the lower Manhattan-based Community Action for Legal Services and the National Lawyers Guild, Rivera became a frequent attorney for the Puerto Rican activist group, the Young Lords, eventually precipitating his entry into private practice.[14][15] This work attracted the attention of WABC-TV news director Al Primo when Rivera was interviewed about the group's occupation of an East Harlem church in 1969. Primo offered Rivera a job as a reporter but was unhappy with the first name "Gerald" (he wanted something more identifiably Latino) so they agreed to go with the pronunciation used by the Puerto Rican side of Rivera's family: Geraldo.[16] Due to his dearth of journalistic experience, ABC arranged for Rivera to study introductory broadcast journalism under Fred Friendly in the Ford Foundation-funded Summer Program in Journalism for Members of Minority Groups at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1970.[14][17]


Early stages

Rivera was hired by WABC-TV in 1970 as a reporter for Eyewitness News. In 1972, he garnered national attention and won a Peabody Award[18][19] for his report on the neglect and abuse of patients with intellectual disabilities at Staten Island's Willowbrook State School, and he began to appear on ABC national programs such as 20/20 and Nightline. After John Lennon watched Rivera's report on the patients at Willowbrook, he and Rivera put on a benefit concert called "One to One" (released in 1986 as Live in New York City). Rivera reported Lennon's murder on Nightline on December 8, 1980. Rivera also appeared in The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2007), a movie about Lennon and Yoko Ono's lives in New York City.

Rivera in the mid-1970s

Around this time, Rivera also began hosting ABC's Good Night America. The show featured the famous refrain from Arlo Guthrie's hit "City Of New Orleans" (written by Steve Goodman) as the theme. A 1975 episode of the program, featuring Dick Gregory and Robert J. Groden, showed the first national telecast of the historic Zapruder Film.[20]

From 1975 to 1977, Rivera was a correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America. He gave special reports for the show.

After George C. Nichopoulos for overprescribing.

In October 1985, ABC's Roone Arledge refused to air a report done by Sylvia Chase for 20/20 on the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and John and Robert Kennedy. Rivera publicly criticized Arledge's journalistic integrity, claiming that his friendship with the Kennedy family (for example, Pierre Salinger, a former Kennedy aide, worked for ABC News at the time) had caused him to spike the story; as a result, Rivera was fired. During a Fox News interview with Megan Kelly aired May 15, 2015, Rivera stated the official reason given for the firing was that he violated ABC policy when he donated $200 to a non-partisan mayoral race candidate. However, he firmly believes it was due to his criticism of Arledge. Sylvia Chase quit 20/20, although she returned to ABC News many years later. The report has never aired.

In April 1986, Rivera hosted the syndicated special The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault, an ill-fated adventure wherein Rivera excavated what he had been told was the site of Al Capone's buried treasure trove. Rivera broadcast live as the site was excavated, fully expecting to find a store of the former gangster's wealth. The show was heavily advertised, particularly on Chicago's WGN television station. A medical examiner was brought along for the excavation in case any dead bodies were excavated. The show was on air for several hours, displacing regularly scheduled programming, as Rivera's team penetrated the vault he was sure would yield the famed loot. Ultimately, the vault was found to contain a few broken bottles. Rivera held one of these bottles aloft for the camera and excitedly stated that it had once contained "bootleg moonshine gin".

Talk shows, specials and guest appearances

In 1987, Rivera began producing and hosting the daytime talk show Geraldo, which ran for 11 years. The show featured controversial guests and theatricality, which led to the characterization of his show as "Trash TV" by Newsweek and two United States senators.[21] One early show was titled "Men in Lace Panties and the Women Who Love Them". In another in 1988, Rivera's nose was broken in a well-publicized brawl during a show whose guests included white supremacists, antiracist skinheads, black activists, and Jewish activists.[22] Regular guests on his show included La Toya Jackson, who discussed the latest goings on and scandal updates in her family.

In 1988, Rivera hosted the first of a series of prime-time special reports dealing with an alleged epidemic of FBI attention to their Satanic sexual child abuse, child pornography, and grisly Satanic murders. "

Critics counter that more credible estimates are about 10,000 adult members of religious Satanic churches, temples, and grottos as well as 10,000 solitary practitioners of Satanism; Rivera's claims of ritualistic abuse, conspiracy, and criminal activity remain unsubstantiated.[23]

In 1994, Rivera began hosting Rivera Live, nightly discussions of the news on CNBC, while continuing to host Geraldo. The show was portrayed in the final episode of Seinfeld, with Rivera as himself reporting on the lengthy trial of Seinfeld's four main characters. On May 20, 1994, Rivera appeared on The Price Is Right.

Later, he would take his talk show in a different direction, transforming it from "Trash TV" to a more subdued, serious show, and changed its name from Geraldo to The Geraldo Rivera Show (first airdate September 7, 1997). By this time, however, the show had run its course; was canceled in 1998.

In 1997, Rivera contracted with NBC to work as a reporter for six years for $30 million, including hosting Rivera Live on CNBC. During 1998 and 1999, he extensively covered the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Fox News to present

Rivera after delivering the keynote at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2008 Public Policy Conference

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he accepted a pay cut and went to work for the Fox News Channel as a war correspondent in November 2001. Rivera's brother Craig accompanied him as a cameraman on assignments in Afghanistan.

In 2001, during the War in Afghanistan, Rivera was derided for a report in which he claimed to be at the scene of a friendly fire incident; it was later revealed he was actually 300 miles away. Rivera blamed a minor misunderstanding for the discrepancy.[24]

Controversy arose in early 2003, while Rivera was traveling with the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. During a Fox News broadcast, Rivera began to disclose an upcoming operation, even going so far as to draw a map in the sand for his audience. The military immediately issued a firm denunciation of his actions, saying it put the operation at risk; Rivera was nearly expelled from Iraq.[25][26] Two days later, he announced that he would be reporting on the Iraq conflict from Kuwait.[27]

In 2005, Rivera engaged in a feud with The New York Times over their allegations that he pushed aside a member of a rescue team in order to be filmed "assisting" a woman in a wheelchair down some steps in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The ensuing controversy caused Rivera to appear on television and demand a retraction from the Times. He further threatened to sue the paper if one were not provided.[28]

In 2007, Geraldo was involved in a dispute with fellow Fox colleague Michelle Malkin. Malkin announced that she would not return to The O'Reilly Factor, claiming that Fox News had mishandled a dispute over derogatory statements Rivera had made about her in a Boston Globe interview. Rivera, while objecting to her views on immigration, said, "Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I've ever met in my life. She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people." He added, "It's good she's in D.C., and I'm in New York. I'd spit on her if I saw her." Rivera later apologized for his comments.[29][30]

In 2008, Rivera's book, titled HisPanic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S., was released.[31]

On January 3, 2012, Rivera began hosting a weekday radio talk show on 77 WABC in New York.[32] The show was scheduled in the two hours between Imus in the Morning and The Rush Limbaugh Show on WABC. On January 30, 2012, Rivera also began hosting a weekday show on Talk Radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles.[33]

On March 23, 2012, Rivera made controversial comments regarding Trayvon Martin's hoodie and how the hoodie was connected to Martin's shooting death, and as of November 5, 2014, he continues to do so as he did on the Dan LeBatard Radio Show on ESPN.[34] Rivera apologized for any offense that he caused with the comments, of which even Rivera's son Gabriel was "ashamed".[35] Some, have reportedly taken the apology as disingenuous;[36] among those who did not accept it was Rivera's longtime friend Russell Simmons.[37] He later apologized to Trayvon Martin's parents as well.[38]

Rivera planned to visit Iraq in April 2012, for what he promised his wife would be his last (and eleventh) visit.[39]

Although he considered running as a Republican in the 2013 special election for New Jersey senator (to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg), he eventually decided not to stand for election.[40]


In 2015, Rivera competed on the 14th season of the television series The Celebrity Apprentice, where he ultimately placed second to TV personality Leeza Gibbons. However, Rivera still raised the highest amount of money out of any contestant in the season, with $726,000 (just $12,000 more than Gibbons).

Rivera hosts the newsmagazine program Geraldo at Large and appears regularly on Fox News Channel. He hosts the talk radio show Geraldo Show on WABC 770 AM radio every weekday.

Personal life

Rivera has been married five times and has fathered five children:

  1. Linda Coblentz (1965–69, divorced)
  2. Edith Vonnegut (December 14, 1971–75, divorced)
  3. Sherryl Raymond (December 31, 1976–84, divorced)
    son: Gabriel Miguel (born July 1979)[41][42]
  4. C.C. (Cynthia Cruickshank) Dyer (July 11, 1987 – 2000, divorced)
    daughters: Isabella Holmes (born 1992)[43] and Simone Cruickshank (born 1994)
  5. Erica Michelle Levy (since August 2003)
    daughter: Sol Liliana (born 2005)[44][45]

He also fathered Cruz Grant (born 1987) with an unnamed Mexican-American[46] woman.

Rivera has been a resident of Edgewater, New Jersey.[47] He previously resided in Middletown Township, New Jersey at Rough Point, an 1895 shingle-style estate.[48]

Rivera is an active sailor. He is owner and skipper of the boat Voyager and sailed in the Marion–Bermuda race (June 2011). His vessel finished in 12th place out of 13 finishers in the Class "A" category.[49]

On July 21, 2013, at 1 AM, Geraldo Rivera tweeted a picture of himself clad only in a towel, exclaiming that "70 is the new 50".[50][51] He has since removed the tweet and the picture.[52]


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ – Sailing Book (continues). Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  12. ^ Fort Schuyler Maritime Alumni Association. (September 24, 1998) Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ See also List of Peabody Award winners (1970–1979)#1972
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Geraldo Rivera'S Influence On The Satanic Ritual Abuse And Recovered Memory Hoaxes. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  24. ^ "Gun-toting Geraldo under fire for the story that never was",, December 20, 2001
  25. ^ "Confusion surrounds Rivera's expulsion from Iraq", CNN, April 1, 2003
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Shanahan, Mark. "Making waves: controversial celebrity newsman Geraldo Rivera", The Boston Globe, September 1, 2007.
  30. ^ Malkin, Michelle. "Geraldo Rivera unhinged",, September 1, 2007.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Fox News Segment of Geraldo Rivera's Comments Regarding Trayvon Martin's Death on YouTube
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Geraldo Rivera's Apology on YouTube
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Froelich, Janis D.. (July 15, 1991) Geraldo . . . Er, Make That Gerald Rivera's Moms Tell All!. Deseret News. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  43. ^ Geraldo, wife overcome fertility foes, have baby. Herald-Journal. November 9, 1992
  44. ^ 50 Highs and Lows from 40 Years in the News Business. (September 5, 2010). Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  45. ^ Media Life – People. (August 4, 2005). Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  46. ^ Geraldo talks Trayvon Martin hoodie, Muslim monitoring and stop and frisk in NYC on YouTube
  47. ^ via Associated Press. "Geraldo Rivera sues over housing dispute", USA Today, September 13, 2004. Accessed March 17, 2011. "The Fox News senior correspondent owns two homes in the 26-acre Edgewater Colony, where residents own their homes but share ownership of the land.... 'I intend living here always, hopefully in peace and loving my neighbors.'"
  48. ^ Cheslow, Jerry. "If You're Thinking of Living In: Middletown Township, N.J.;A Historic Community on Raritan Bay", The New York Times, December 24, 1995. Accessed May 10, 2007. "The most expensive area is along the Shrewsbury River, where an eight-bedroom colonial on five acres is listed at $5.9 million. Among the residents of that area are Geraldo Rivera, the television personality, and members of the Hovnanian home-building family."
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • "Geraldo Rivera Official Statement Regarding Embedment Controversy", 4 April 2003 at the Wayback Machine (archived November 20, 2006) – Rivera tells the story of his Iraq "Map in the Sand"
  • "Pentagon Says Geraldo Rivera Will Be Removed From Iraq" – The New York Times, April 1, 2003
  • Geraldo Rivera's Influence on the Satanic Ritual Abuse and Recovered Memory Hoaxes – from
  • Urban Legend about Geraldo Rivera's name being changed from Jerry Rivers – from
  • Geraldo Rivera at the Internet Movie Database
  • Geraldo Rivera interview video at the Archive of American Television
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.