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Sat, 04.10.1954

Juan Williams, Journalist born

Juan Williams

*Juan Williams was born on this date in 1954. is a Black Panamanian American journalist, author, and political analyst.

Juan Antonio Williams was born in Colón, Panama, to Akin Jules Williams and Sharon Williams, who were both Panamanian. When he was a child, his family moved to America.  He graduated in 1972 from Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he became clerk of the student body, editor of the student paper, and captain of the baseball, cross-country, and championship basketball team.

In 1976, he earned his B.A. in philosophy from Haverford College.  In 1978, Williams married Susan Delise. They have one daughter, Rae, and two sons, Antonio and Raphael. Williams is also a grandfather. He has been active on the Haverford College Board of Managers, in the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, and in the Washington Journalism Center. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Rights Coalition. 

His 1988 book, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954–65, was written with the Blackside production team as a companion to the first season of the PBS series Eyes on the Prize. He also writes for several newspapers, including The Washington PostThe New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been published in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and Time.

In 1991, after Williams wrote a column defending Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas against sworn testimony by Anita Hill charging sexual harassment by Thomas, it was revealed that several female employees of the Post had filed sexual harassment charges against him. The paper took disciplinary action against Williams and published an apology from him. 

He was a senior news analyst for National Public Radio (NPR) from 1999 until 2010 and the Washington Post; Williams has worked as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, White House correspondent, and national correspondent. He is a registered Democrat.  His 2003 book, This Far by Faith, is also a companion to a PBS series.  He is also the author of Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (2000), and Enough (2006).  Williams has received an Emmy Award and has won several awards for investigative journalism and his opinion columns.

Some television documentaries he has contributed to include Politics: The New Black PowerA. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and FreedomCivil Rights and The PressRiot to Recovery, and Dying for Healthcare.  Williams joined NPR in 2000 as host of the daily afternoon talk show Talk of the Nation. He also was a senior national correspondent for NPR. 

Williams spoke at the Smithsonian's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. He has received honorary doctorates from Lafayette College, Wittenberg University, and Long Island University, among other institutions.

In 2009, NPR's President and CEO Vivian Schiller requested Fox News stop identifying him as an NPR host after Williams commented on The O'Reilly Factor: "Michelle Obama, you know, she's got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going. If she starts talking...her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I'm the victim. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas, and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross". 

NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard maintained that: "Williams tends to speak one way on NPR and another on Fox."

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