Geraldo Rivera is an exceptional journalist, attorney, talk show host, and author. He has been recognized for his good work and accomplishments in life. The award-winning broadcaster has not also been too far away from controversy. From the start of a controversial show in the mid-1980s to his escapades in Iraq, Geraldo’s has never been far from the news. Read on to get the details.
Geraldo Rivera Bio (Age)
Geraldo was born Gerald Rivera on July 4, 1943, at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, New York, USA. His mother is Lillian Rivera and his father is Cruz “Allen” Rivera. Geraldo is of mixed ancestry – Puerto Rican from his father’s lineage while his mother is of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent. His mother was a restaurant worker and while his dad Cruz was a cab driver. Geraldo has four siblings, two sisters and two brothers – Irene, Sharon, Rivera, and Craig Rivera.
Growing up in Brooklyn, he went on to school at West Babylon High School in West Babylon, New York. From September 1961 to May 1963, Geraldo attended the State University of New York Maritime College. While there, he was part of the rowing team. He would later on, in 1965, graduate from the University of Arizona with a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration. There was more studying to be done by Geraldo as he enrolled at the Brooklyn Law School in 1966 and graduated in 1969.
By the very next year, Geraldo Rivera joined the news team of the New York station, WABC-TV. Unhappy with how “Gerald” sounded when he was offered the job by WABC-TV, he opted for “Geraldo” which sounded a bit more Latino. During his time there, he was able to begin working for both 20/20 and Good Morning America. Just three years into his journalism career, he won a Peabody Award for a story on the abuse faced by patients at Willowbrook State School, an institution for the mentally ill in New York.
His career at the ABC went a long way to shape how Geraldo has been viewed. He was a host of Good Morning America which usually tackled many controversial topics at the time. Topics ranging from drug use, historic films, the status of Vietnam War draft dodgers, etc. Geraldo’s time at the station would come to an end in October 1987 when he criticized the ABC president, Roone Arledge for refusing to air a report by his colleague, Sylvia Chase about the relationship between actress Marilyn Monroe and President John F. Kennedy. Geraldo was fired.
In 1986, Geraldo Rivera anchored the infamous show The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults which was broadcast live on April 21, 1986. The show was widely anticipated and was to reveal details about the notorious Al Capone – an Italian-born immigrant who ran one of the country’s most dangerous criminals and drug cartels from a hotel room.
The much-hyped show had agents, doctors on standby expecting to find Al Capone’s hidden treasures and perhaps some dead bodies. When the vault was finally opened, to the surprise of the watching nation, the only thing found was an empty bottle of whiskey.
After the failure of The Al Capone show, in 1987, he began hosting a daytime talk show Geraldo from 1987 to 1998 which was known for being filled with controversial topics and guests. Geraldo hosted black activists, racist skinheads, and white supremacists, a violent on-air brawl once broke out and Rivera had his nose broken.
In 1994, he signed for CNBC and began Rivera Live. Geraldo was expelled from Iraq when he disclosed troop movements on camera after he went to the Middle East as a war correspondent.
Wife, Daughter (Children)
Rivera is married. He has actually been married a total of five times. The first time was in 1965 when he married his ex-wife Linda Coblentz. They were divorced in 1969. Then he married Edith Vonnegut (1971–1975), Sheryl Raymond (1976–1984), Cynthia Cruickshank Dyer (1987–2000). He has so far proven to be successful at sticking to one woman, having been with Erica Michelle Levy from August 2003 till date. Rivera did admit to having a multi-year affair until 1985 with Marian Javits who is the wife of Senator Jacob K. Javits from New York.
His five marriages have given him five children even though only three of those women had his children. His first child is Gabriel Miguel Rivera born in 1979. Cruz Grant Rivera was born in 1987. Two of his daughters, Isabella Holmes Rivera and Simone Cruickshank were born in 1992 and 1994 respectively by Cynthia. While his youngest daughter Solita was born by his present wife, Erica in 2005.
Geraldo Rivera has never really stood out for his physique as he stands at a height of 5 feet 9 inches. (177 cm). Not much information is available about his weight and other physical body stats.