- Category : Entertainment-News-journalist-Anchor
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 2/5 - Hermit / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
American talk show host, journalist and attorney. Rivera has won the Columbia-Dupont Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism, seven local and three national Emmys.
One of five children born to Cruz Rivera and Lilly Friedman, his heritage is Puerto Rican and his religion, although he doesn't practice, is Jewish. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, his parents were cafeteria workers who moved to Long Island when he was 12. Returning to Brooklyn after high school, he lived with an aunt and took remedial math and English to get into the NY State Merchant Marine Academy which he attended for two years. Feeling there was no excitement there, he dropped out, going to California. Rivera attended the University of Arizona graduating in 1963, later attending Brooklyn Law School at age 23. He was considered the class flirt.
After being an anti-poverty attorney for two years, he decided he was here to be a crusader. The New York City affiliate of ABC, WABC, was looking for a Puerto Rican to send to Columbia School of Journalism for New York's "Eyewitness News" in 1970. In 1971 Rivera's report, "Drug Crisis in East Harlem" won the Columbia-Dupont Award and in 1972 WABC won the George Foster Peabody Award for the report he did, "Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace," an expose of a state home for the retarded. Rivera left WABC in 1974, then worked for the entertainment division of ABC doing some specialty pieces, including 12 on various wars, on "20/20." His eight-year contract ended December 1985 and wasn't renewed.
"Geraldo," his daytime talk show, began in 1987, pioneering tabloid journalism on TV. Featuring offbeat topics and odd individuals, he had more than one scuffle with guests. This show lasted until 5/08/1998, his 2,163 episode, when NBC gave him a nightly legal-oriented news show which proved successful, making him one of their highest paid employees at $6 million per year allowing him to purchase several homes and yachts. Rivera's style of journalism is intensely personal, not objective. He was the original celebrity journalist making himself the star of the story. His show on the opening of Al Capone's vault was the highest rated nationally syndicated TV show in history. In a 1991 autobiography, "Exposing Myself," Rivera made what he considers the most colossal error of his life. It was a kiss and tell book naming sexual partners, of which there were many due to his affairs before 1987. His nightly talk show, "Rivera Live," began in 1994.
Rivera met first wife, Linda Coblentz, while a student at University of Arizona. Married one year, they divorced when he was 21. Second wife Edith Vonnegut, the artist daughter of novelist Kurt, was married to Rivera from 1971-74. Third wife Sheri, married in 1976, gave him son Gabriel but they separated in 1980, divorcing in 1982. In 1987 he had an out-of-wedlock son, Cruz, while having a relationship with his fourth wife-to-be, C.C. Dyer. Rivera met Dyer, an executive assistant at ABC, while married to Sheri. They lived together four years before marrying in July 1987. They have two daughters, Isabella, born 1993 and Simone, born 1995. The family lives in Monmouth County, NY where Rivera owns the "Two Rivers Times," a small local newspaper which C.C. publishes. In October 1999 they had a six-week separation while working through some issues.
Rivera broke his nose for the second time in an on-air brawl in 1988. Although frail and always ill as a child, he is 5'10", works out every day, has widely spaced, uneven teeth, a bushy mustache and tattoos.
After the 9/11/2001 attack on American, Geraldo put on his macho suit complete with sidearms to be photographed in the war zone with American soldiers, December 2001. Breaking Geneva convention, he is blurring the line between correspondent and combatant, opening the door to make journalists legitimate targets for enemy fire.
The TV personality said "I do" for the fifth time in a ceremony beginning at 6 PM on August 10, 2003 in New York City. The bride, Erica Levy, his former "Rivera Live" producer, is 28, 32 years younger than he.