Release: John Walsh, Creator-Host of “America’s Most Wanted” to Receive Governors Award
America’s Most Wanted creator and host John Walsh will receive the Board of Governors' prestigious Governors Award this year. The honor will be bestowed on Walsh at the Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on September 10, 2011, in Los Angeles.
North Hollywood, CA, Aug. 9, 2011 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors has voted to bestow the prestigious Governors Awards this year to “America’s Most Wanted” creator and host, John Walsh. The announcement was made by Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner.
Created in 1978, the Governors Award salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television. The award will be presented to Walsh during the 2011 Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on Saturday, September 10th, at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
“John Walsh has dedicated his life to the betterment of society, and while doing so has used television in an inventive and extraordinary way,” Shaffner said. “His contribution to society goes far beyond just hosting a hit TV show, but sets a prime example of how television can be used to convey an important message.”
John Walsh is known internationally as a crime fighter, victims’ advocate and the host of America's Most Wanted -- the groundbreaking reality program that has helped law enforcement capture more than 1,500 dangerous fugitives and brought home more than 50 missing children since its debut in 1988. He never sought the role, but this has been his life since July 27, 1981 -- the day his only child, Adam, was abducted from a mall near his home in Hollywood, Fla. Adam was found murdered two weeks later.
The case remained unsolved for 27 years. But in December 2008, the Hollywood Police Department, assisted by dedicated active and retired criminal justice professionals, brought Adam's case to a close. This story has inspired two movies of the week and turned Walsh into an internationally renowned advocate for victims and their families. Although the resolution of Adam's case gave Walsh and his family a long-sought opportunity to close this chapter of their lives, the pain of their loss lives on and always will.
Although he's never held political office, Walsh has been the driving force behind major pieces of child protection legislation. This hard work led to him being honored five times by four presidents: Ronald Reagan (twice), George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
On July 27, 2006 -- 25 years to the day since Adam's abduction -- at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President George W. Bush signed a new, tough-as-nails law to track and apprehend convicted sex offenders who disappear after their release from prison: The "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act."
The Walsh family’s experience showed them that the nation was in desperate need of leadership in the fight to protect children. Out of their pain, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) was created in 1984, after President Ronald Reagan signed the "Missing Children's Assistance Act." The NCMEC is the premier child protection non-profit, providing invaluable resources to parents, children and law enforcement in the United States and internationally. The charity consistently receives an “A” rating for its spending of more than 90 cents of every dollar raised on programming. The NCMEC's incredible partnerships with the public and private sector demonstrate its respect as an effective non-profit.
A hero to law enforcement, Walsh has been honored numerous times by many local, state and federal agencies. In addition to being named “Man of the Year” by both the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI, Walsh was also made an honorary U.S. Marshal. He is only the third man to receive this honor in the organization's 200-plus-year history.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, founded in 1946 at the birth of the medium, is a non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of telecommunication arts, sciences and creative leadership. Known for recognizing outstanding programming through its Primetime Emmy® Awards, the Television Academy also publishes emmy magazine. Its charitable Foundation operates the Archive of American Television, College Television Awards, acclaimed student internships and other educational outreach programs. For more information on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, its many industry-related programs and services, including year-round events, please visit www.emmys.com.
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Contact: Chris DiIorio / Hayley Hindinger