Juan Williams was born on April 10, 1954, in Colón, Panama. He moved to the United States at the age of three as an immigrant with his family. His mother, Rogelio, was a seamstress, and his father, Rogelio, was a boxing trainer.
Juan earned a scholarship to the Oakwood Friends School in New York. He completed his graduation in 1972. During his tenure, he offered his services as a representative of the student body. In addition to his studies, Juan was interested in extracurricular activities and participated in several events. He played for the baseball team and represented his squad as the captain. Juan also loved to play basketball and competed in many games at the national level.
After finishing high school, he attended Haverford College, which was a liberal arts college. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy from Haverford College in 1976.
Marriage, Wife, and Children
Juan has been married to Delise Susan since 1978. They have three loving children from their marriage. Raphael and Antonio are their two sons, and the name of their only daughter is Rae. They have been married for close to 40 years.
Following his father's footsteps, Antonio, the first son of the family, became an intern for Senator Strom Thurmond in 1996. Antonio also tried running for a seat on the Council of the District of Columbia, but he lost to Tommy Wells.
During an interview by Yahoo News on why he became a Republican, Antonio brought to light some delightful details about his father. When asked to describe his dad in his own words, he said he thought he was a straight shooter who tries to be as direct and honest as possible with his opinions and views. Antonio credits his dad for pushing him to pursue his career.
His other son, Raffi, studied anthropology and played lacrosse at Haverford College. The same university Juan attended in Pennsylvania. Raffi currently works as a press secretary to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and is also a Republican like his older brother.
Career and Net Worth
Juan wrote for many newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He also worked for magazines like The Times and The Atlantic Monthly.
After completing his college graduation in 1976, Juan started pursuing his dream of becoming a journalist. He joined The Washington Post as an intern the same year he graduated. After being impressed by his work and dedication, The Washington Post offered him the chance to work as a full-time journalist. In his beginning days at The Washington Post, he worked in the editorial department. He later assumed the responsibilities of a columnist and national correspondent. He served as the White House correspondent for The Washington Post, a duty that he considers one of his best experiences.
During those 23 long and prosperous years working at The Washington Post, Juan wrote several articles for other publications like Fortune, Atlantic Monthly, and Newsweek.
Juan worked as a senior analyst for National Public Radio from 1999 until 2010. Talk of the Nation was the daily afternoon talk show that brought Juan to NPR in 2000. After his debut, he became a senior national correspondent for NPR.
Juan's career with NPR came to an end on October 20, 2010, because of his conservative views on The O'Reilly Factor that had led to an outcry from the black audience. They felt he was a puppet for the conservative party and did not represent their values and views.
When asked whether the intense criticism he received while working for the network got to him, he replied: "It bothers me deeply. People who are not able to put me in a box, people who want to tune in to programming that affirms their existing opinions, those people are embarrassed by me. The idea that you wouldn't hold black political leaders accountable strikes me as corrupt."
Juan was distraught with the idea that he should act a certain way or hold specific values just because of the color of his skin.
TV Broadcasting Career
Juan became a Fox News employee in 1997. Fox News offered him a three-year contract worth $2 million. The Fox News programs he has appeared on are Special Report with Bret Baier, FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, and The Five. The flagship show, The O'Reilly Factor, would ask him to guest host whenever Bill O'Reilly was unavailable.
Juan went on The O'Reilly Factor to explain why NPR fired him for his controversial statements on African Americans and Muslims, "I don't fit in their box. I'm not a predictable black liberal. You [O'Reilly] were exactly right when you said you know what this comes down to. They were looking for a reason to get rid of me because I appear on Fox News. They don't want me talking to you."
People speculated that Juan only sided with the conservative party to stand out in his field. It was common for black Americans to support the left, so it stood out and made the news when one decided to endorse the conservatives.
Juan extended his career to writing articles and publishing a few books. His first book, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965 (1987), explored the Civil Rights Movement from a documentary perspective. The book made the bestseller's list.
He wrote a biography on Thurgood Marshall called Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (2000). Marshall was the first African American to be named to the Supreme Court in the United States. Juan's biography made it to the bestseller's list.
A book he wrote called Enough (2006) was influenced by a speech given by Bill Cosby at an NAACP event. The book mainly focused on Juan's opinion of African American leaders, which he called a "culture of failure."
His books were better received by the African American community than his other work because they helped tell black Americans' stories.
Last Modified: Aug 12, 2021