Rivera, Geraldo(1943– ) television journalist; born in New York City. An antipoverty lawyer in New York City (1968–70), he joined WABC Eyewitness News (1970–74), gaining fame for producing his exposé of a state home for the retarded, Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace. In 1974 he joined ABC, doing pieces for their magazine shows like 20/20. Starting Geraldo, a daytime talk show, in 1987, he pioneered in what came to be known as television tabloid journalism, featuring offbeat topics and sleazy individuals on his show and on at least one occasion scuffling with his guests.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.