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Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 4, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

Through a mistake, his birth name was given as Gerald Riviera. He legally changed his surname in the 1960s when he was beginning his career.

Some sources list July 5 as Mr. Rivera's birthdate.

Rivera owned the Two Rivers Times newspaper in New Jersey and his wife C C Dyer was the publisher.

Rivera has received a number of daytime and special category Emmy Awards, the majority of which are regional awards. He has also received two Robert F. Kennedy Awards (1973 and 1975) and two Alfred I du Pont-Columbia University Citations. In addition, the New York State Associated Press named him Broadcaster of the Year in 1971, 1972 and 1974.

"Jerry Rivers" is less another name Rivera has used than one that has been associated with him. Some have claimed over the years that it is his real name, that he appropriated a more ethnic-sounding name merely to be fashionable. Rivera has always steadfastly stated that his current name is his birth name. His mother's attempts to Americanize it consisted only in dropping the "o" in Geraldo.

A sampler of criticism of Rivera could include such remarks as the following: "You know sensationalism is back in style . . . when Geraldo Rivera is riding high" (Richard Zoglin, Time); "His narcissism overwhelms his news sense" (Charles Leerhsen, Newsweek); "Geraldo Rivera should be arrested for exposing himself" (Reuven Frank, former president of NBC News) --all quoted in Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1989.

Responding to charges that he is sometimes too arrogant, Rivera responded in an interview in PLAYBOY in 1979: "I was definitely arrogant and pushy, but I was other things too . . . arrogance is definitely part of my life. My defense against criticism has always been arrogance. I would always answer my critics by saying, 'What do you know? When was the last time you were in the streets? What have you lived through? What have you seen?'"

Rivera has also noted that the criticism he weathers has its good side as well: "I've explained what I do so many times in as public a way as I can that my audience now EXPECTS people to say bad things about me. It keeps me in the position of being almost a perennial underdog." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1989.

Rivera promised a junior high school class that he would pay for their college education (c. 1987) upon graduation from high school. Five years later he payed for nine of the graduate's college educations (approximately $180,000 annually). He continues to actively encourage children to realize their dreams through education and has remained politically active as an advocate for children's and minority rights.

According to his 1991 autobiography, the aptly named "Exposing Myself"--a book he now refers to as "the colossal error of my adult life"--his life up until about 1987 was one long string of romance and debauchery and adventure. His policy, he wrote was to keep "one steady and one on the side," having flings, flirtations or affairs with--he claimed--the likes of Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli and Marian Javits, wife of late New York Sen. Jacob Javits, as well as nameless, and countless, production assistants, Studio 54 habitues, and groupies. Characterizing himself in the book as "a grunting, voracious pig in heat", Rivera bragged in a 1989 Playboy interview of having sex with "thousands of women, literally thousands. It's gaudy." In light of his confessed infidelities, it's little wonder his first three marriages failed.

About his monogamous relationship with fourth wife: "I'm a flirt but I'm not a fool. I play to an audience of one. If C C were ever to hear that I betrayed her, she would just say goodbye, and she's too valuable." --Rivera to People, March 17, 1997.

"What I really want is to be one of the wise men of my generation. I think I've earned it now. I want to be the Jennings, Brokaw, Rather person for a fourth entitiy, be it Fox or whoever. The old news format is dying. I want to conduct a show that would be rock & roll news for the millenium. And that will be my last job in broadcasting. I want one more hit." --Geraldo Rivera to Rolling Stone, September 18, 1997.

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