Juan Williams was born on April 10, 1954 in Colón, Panama. After moving from his home country of Panama to the United States, Juan was immersed in American culture. In 1972, he graduated from Oakwood Friends School in New York. He was an editor of the student paper.
Juan was known to be very sharp and active in sports. He was the captain of the baseball team, basketball team, and cross-country track team. He played in many tournaments to help his teams compete. He got a sportsman’s scholarship when he was at Haverford College.
He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Haverford College in 1976. He continues to be active in the board of managers of his school and he was linked at Aspen Institute Communications. He is a member of the board of directors at the New York Civil Right Coalition.
Marriage, Husband, and Children
Juan married Delise Susan in 1978. They had 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 over 40 years.
Following the footsteps of his father, 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.
Their 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 Time 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 was also serving as the White House correspondent for The Washington Post, a duty that he considers to one of his best experiences to this day.
During those 23 long and successful years working at The Washington Post, Juan also wrote a number of 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 being 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 simply affirms their existing opinions, those people are discomfited by me. The idea that you wouldn’t hold black political leaders accountable strikes me as corrupt.”
Juan was very upset with the idea that he should act a certain way or hold certain 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 dollars. 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'm appearing on Fox News. They don't want me talking to you."
People speculated that Juan only sided with the conservative party so that he could stand out in his field. It was common for black Americans to support the left so when one decided to endorse the conservatives, it really stood out and made the news.
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 really helped to tell the story of black Americans.
Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020