Geraldo Rivera Celebrates 50 Years in Television: See His Life and Career Throughout the Years

On Sept. 8, the Emmy and Peabody award- winning Fox News correspondent will celebrate 50 years in television: "I'm honored, I'm humbled by it. It exhilarates me and exhausts me," he tells PEOPLE. To celebrate this monumental year, FOX News Channel will air the one-hour special FOX Nation Presents: I Am Geraldo 50 Years on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 10 p.m. ET.

Geraldo Rivera
Photo: Benjamin West
01 of 22

1970s

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Promotional photo of Rivera from the 1970s.

02 of 22

1972

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera speaking with high school students in the WABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News newsroom in 1972.

03 of 22

1974

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera working in the basement office at WABC radio in 1974. Shortly after the Willowbrook exposé, he moved to the basement and started the Channel 7 Help Center, his own investigative news team where he launched a series of explosive reports, including the series on the institution which resulted in its closure.

04 of 22

1974

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera alongside the late Hugh Hefner for Good Night America in 1974. FOX News Channel

Rivera alongside the late Hugh Hefner for Good Night America on May 1, 1974.

05 of 22

1974

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

A New York Post clip (dated April 3, 1974) of when ABC tried to stop Rivera's segment on marijuana by censoring it.

06 of 22

1974

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera and a member of his team with Jerry Garcia on Sept. 12, 1974.

07 of 22

1980

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera writing John Lennon’s obituary for ABC Nightline in 1980. FOX News Channel

Rivera writing John Lennon's obituary for ABC Nightline.

08 of 22

1980

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera holding a John Lennon LP outside The Dakota, where Lennon was murdered. Rivera lived only a few blocks away.

The day Lennon died, on Dec. 8, 1980, Rivera reported on the death of the Beatles frontman on ABC News with Ted Kopple.

09 of 22

1983

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Image (dated March 24, 1983) from a 20/20 investigative report on migrant farm workers.

10 of 22

1988

Geraldo Rivera Playgirl
Geraldo Rivera's 1988 Playgirl cover. Playgirl

"Well, I didn't look that bad. I mean, the Playgirl cover you can forgive because it was so long ago and that was when there was still a Playboy mansion and Playgirl was the hot magazine for gay guys or women. But that was that era," Rivera tells PEOPLE of his 1988 cover.

Asked whether he'd do pose again if the magazine was still in publication, Rivera said, "I hesitate because I would say yes, but my wife would say a resounding no; so would my daughters. So the answer is no I would not."

11 of 22

1988

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera alongside Bernard Carabello (in 1988), a former resident of the infamous Willowbrook State School who spent 18 years institutionalized, although he was not mentally impaired. Carabello was released from Willowbrook following Rivera’s exposé of the institution’s practices. FOX News Channel

Rivera alongside Bernard Carabello, a former resident of the infamous Willowbrook State School who spent 18 years institutionalized, although he was not mentally impaired. Carabello was released from Willowbrook following Rivera's exposé of the institution's practices.

12 of 22

2001

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera next to a helicopter in Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan, in November 2001.

13 of 22

2001

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera in Tora Bora, Afghanistan in 2001.

14 of 22

2002

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera with Somali militia in Mogadishu in 2002.

15 of 22

2003

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera piled into a Black Hawk helicopter flying through Iraq in March 2003.

16 of 22

2003

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera on a DEA jet in Colombia while he was covering Plan Colombia in July 2003.

17 of 22

2007

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera alongside former CIA Director General David Petraeus in Baghdad in 2007.

18 of 22

2008

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera standing alongside soldiers outside the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan in 2008.

19 of 22

2015

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera, his wife Erica Levy, and their daughter Sol at Levy’s 40th birthday party in NYC in 2015. FOX News Channel

Rivera, his wife Erica, and their daughter Sol at Erica's 40th birthday party in NYC on Jan. 20, 2015. They reside in Cleveland, Ohio.

20 of 22

His Children

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera's children (L to R): daughter-in-law Deborah, son Cruz, daughter Isabella, daughter Sol, daughter Simone and son Gabriel, husband of Deborah. FOX News Channel

Rivera's children from left to right: daughter-in-law Deborah, son Cruz, daughter Isabella, daughter Sol, daughter Simone and son Gabriel, husband of Deborah.

21 of 22

2020

Geraldo Rivera
FOX News Channel

Rivera at work in his office.

22 of 22

2020

Geraldo Rivera
Benjamin West

Rivera reporting for FOX News Channel, where he serves as a roaming correspondent-at-large.

Related Articles