Geraldo Rivera Biography

Talk Show Host, Journalist (1943–)
Though best known for his controversial talk shows, television personality Geraldo Rivera also worked as a journalist for several major news outlets. He currently appears on Fox News as a contributor.

Who Is Geraldo Rivera?

Born in New York in 1943, Geraldo Rivera worked as a journalist for 20/20, ABC and Good Morning, America before starting his controversial talk show, Geraldo. He later returned to journalism as an anchor for Fox News and began his own syndicated news program, Geraldo at Large, which aired from 2005 to 2007.

Fantastic Facial Hair: NEW YORK - MARCH 04:  Moderator Geraldo Rivera attends 'America's Most Wanted' at The Paley Center for Media on March 4, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Geraldo Rivera

Moderator Geraldo Rivera attends 'America's Most Wanted' at The Paley Center for Media on March 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage) 

Wife and Children

Rivera has been married five times. The first four marriages ended in divorce. He married Erica Levy in 2003, and the couple has a daughter named Solita Liliana (b. 2005). 

Rivera has four children from previous relationships: sons Gabriel (b. 1979) and Cruz (b. 1987) and daughters Isabella (b. 1992) and Simone (b. 1994).

Early Career

Television journalist and talk show host Geraldo Rivera was born on July 4, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. Often associated with tabloid television, Rivera was actually a lawyer before becoming a controversial TV personality. He earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1969. The next year Rivera joined the news team of New York's WABC-TV. His hard-hitting report on the abuse of intellectually disabled patients at the Willowbrook School earned accolades and high ratings. He started contributing to national ABC news programs, such as Good Morning, America, and joined the staff of 20/20, the primetime news magazine, in 1978.


Rivera's career took a different turn in the late 1980s. After being fired from ABC over a disagreement about a report, he started Geraldo, a daytime talk show, in 1987. The show was criticized for its controversial, sometimes tasteless topics and for the not infrequent scuffles between guests. Rivera himself got caught in the crossfire during one show and got his nose broken. The show ended in 1998.

Fox News

Rivera joined Fox News Channel in 2001. While covering the war in Iraq, he again drew criticism in 2003 for reporting troop positions and military plans and was forced to leave that country. Rivera returned to hosting his own show in 2005 with the syndicated news program, Geraldo at Large.

Over the years, Rivera has been willing to make of his reputation as an aggressive, theatrical journalist and host. He appeared in several television shows and films mocking his public persona, including the 1994 Oliver Stone movie Natural Born Killers. Despite the common perception of him as sensationalistic, Rivera is a distinguished journalist, having received numerous awards, including seven Emmy Awards and the Peabody Award, for his work.

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