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Juan Gonzalez (journalist)

Juan González
González in Washington D.C.
Born October 15, 1947 (aged 66)
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Show Democracy Now!
Station(s) over 1000
Network Pacifica Radio
Style Investigative journalism

Juan González (born 1947) is an American progressive broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. He has also been a columnist for the New York Daily News since 1987. He frequently co-hosts the radio and television program Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Journalism career 1.2
      • Books 1.2.1
      • Film 1.2.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Early life

González was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on October 15, 1947, to Pepe (1915–1980), who was a veteran of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry during World War II, and Florinda (1929 –).[1] González was raised in East Harlem and Brooklyn. After a period as editor of his high school newspaper, the Lane Reporter, González attended Columbia College where he was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and played a leading role in the protests that shut down the college in spring 1968 as one of three "Strike Central" representatives on the strike coordinating committee.[2]:70 In the student strike that followed the police riot that ended the occupation he continued in this role and in negotiations at the apartment of Eugene Galanter.[2]:94–5 He is a founding member of the New York City branch of the Young Lords, serving on its first central committee as its Minister of Education.[3]

In 1981, he was elected president of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, a political organization that concentrated on registering Latino voters. He graduated from Columbia College in 1998, 30 years after his last class there.[4]

Journalism career

After just a couple of weeks into studying journalism at Temple University, González's instructor encouraged him to apply for a post at the instructor's other workplace the Philadelphia Daily News. González application led him to become a clerk in 1978; however, within months he quickly was employed as a full-time reporter.[5] In 1987 González landed a job as a reporter for The Village Voice. However, soon after returning to New York González was offered his own column and better salary at the New York Daily News and so he chose to work there instead.[5]

Whilst working for the New York Daily News, González won his first investigative reporting.[5]

He is former president of the Hispanic Business Magazine as one of America's most influential Hispanics, as well as earning a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences.

For two years, González was the Belle Zeller Visiting Professor in Public Policy and Administration at Brooklyn College/CUNY, with an appointment in both the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, as well as the Political Science Department.

In December 2006, he reported the results of an exclusive interview with the purported "Fourth Man" who was present at the scene of the November 25 NYPD shooting incident that caused the death of Sean Bell.[6]

He has written extensively on the health effects arising from the September 11 attacks and the cover-up of Ground Zero air hazards in columns in the New York Daily News. He was the first reporter in New York City to write on the health effects arising from the September 11, 2001 attacks.[7]

González was awarded the 2010 Justice in Action Award from the Michael Bloomberg’s CityTime project, a new computerized payroll system, leading to the federal indictment of four consultancies for fraud.[9]

González's and Goodman's voices were used (uncredited) over news footage concerning Hurricane Katrina in the opening montage of New Orleans at the beginning of the action-drama film Streets of Blood (2009).

González has cited a prime motivating force in his work has been, "a sense about the unjust treatment of people".[5]


González has written three books:

  • Fallout: The Environmental Consequences of the World Trade Center Collapse (2002, ISBN 1-56584-845-4), documents cover-ups by Environmental Protection Agency and government officials with regard to health hazards at Ground Zero in New York.
  • Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
  • Roll Down Your Window: Stories of a Forgotten America

González is also the co-author, with Joseph Torres, of "News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media" (2011, ISBN 978-1-84467-687-3), a history of the American media with special focus on media outlets owned and controlled by people of color, and how they were suppressed—sometimes violently—by mainstream political, corporate and media leaders.


See also


  1. ^ Puerto Rico Profile: Juan Gonzalez
  2. ^ a b Rudd, Mark. Underground: My life with SDS and the Weathermen.
  3. ^ "Influential Puerto Rican Activist Group the Young Lords Marks 40th Anniversary". Democracy Now!. August 21, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Democracy Now! Co-Host Juan Gonzalez". The Sanctuary for Independent Media. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d In-Depth Profile of Juan González, Columbia Magazine, Summer 2013
  6. ^ Gonzalez, Juan (December 15, 2006). "Fourth Man: My Story".  
  7. ^ Hagey, Keach (April 17, 2007). "Dishonorable Non-Mention: Juan Gonzalez and the Daily News' 9/11 Pulitzer".  
  8. ^ "Juan Gonzalez Receives 2010 Justice in Action Award". Democracy Now!. February 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Juan Gonzalez Wins 2010 George Polk Award For Exposing $80 Million Bloomberg Administration Scandal". Democracy Now!. February 22, 2011. 

External links

  • Juan Gonzalez at the Internet Movie Database
  • News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media - co-authored by González
  • Democracy Now! - Daily news programme co-founded and co-hosted by González
  • Harvest of Empire - Film adaptation of the book written by González
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