“John Quiñones has spent his career in the heart and sinew of America. Heroes Among Us makes you a promise – that courage, humanity, generosity triumph – that all of us can walk in the footsteps of heroes and learn about bravery, joy, hope, and life lived to the fullest.”
John Quiñones is anchor of ABC’s What Would You Do?, a co-anchor of Primetime, a correspondent for 20/20, and the author of Heroes Among Us: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Choices (Harper). Winner of seven Emmy Awards, Quiñones has also been honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards Grand Prize for International Reporting. Quiñones joined ABC News in June 1982 and has reported for World News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, and Good Morning America. A sought after speaker, he has been a keynote speaker, diversity speaker, commencement speaker, and after-dinner speaker at universities, diversity conferences, and charitable organizations across the country.
Inspired by ABC’s popular Primetime and 20/20 special, What Would You Do?, Heroes Among Us shares stories of selflessness, strength, and bravery, offers inspiration, and ultimately challenges each of us to learn from the great deeds of our neighbors and, in turn, to follow in that same heroic spirit. According to Quiñones, truly heroic individuals are people who make difficult choices, even in the face of danger, without giving in to fear. They don’t expect fame or money for their efforts – they’re just doing the right thing. They are compassionate and courageous, and our world would be a far worse place without them. They rarely get the recognition they deserve.
In addition to sharing the many stories of heroes he’s met, he also shares his own touching personal narrative of his rise from humble roots as the son of a laborer and a house cleaner to his life as a network anchor. His is one of the most American of stories. Quiñones reminds us all of the courage and dignity it takes to stand up for oneself and those around us, and by chronicling such bravery, he captures America’s can-do spirit, showing that through the slightest good deed, each one of us harbors a hero within.
Quiñones’ recent work includes a Primetime hidden camera report in which he went undercover to reveal how clinics were performing unnecessary surgical procedures as part of a major nation-wide insurance scam. He reported on a religious sect in Northern Arizona that forces its young female members to take part in polygamous marriages. He also reported on such diverse topics as the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, the plight of conjoined twins and the ongoing search for the notorious Zodiac killer. He followed along with a group of would-be Mexican immigrants as they attempted to cross into the U.S. via the treacherous route known as “The Devil’s Highway,” and he traveled to Israel for a CINE Award-winning report about suicide bombers.
During the second war in Iraq, Quiñones reported on life inside a busy U.S. military field hospital, and also on the role of female Air Force pilots. On September 11, 2001, Quiñones followed a mother and her daughters as they desperately – and successfully – searched for their husband and father thought trapped in one of the fallen World Trade Center towers.
In September 1999, Quiñones anchored and reported a critically acclaimed ABC News special called “Latin Beat,” focusing on the wave of Latin talent sweeping the United States, the impact of the recent population explosion and how it will affect the nation as a whole. He was awarded an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza. Quiñones also contributed reports to ABC News’ unprecedented 24-hour, live, global Millennium broadcast, which won the George Foster Peabody Award.
His reports for 20/20 have included an in-depth look at the unprecedented lawsuit against the Cuban government by a woman who claimed she unknowingly married a spy; an exclusive interview with a Florida teenager who brutally killed her adoptive mother; and a look at sex abuse in schools. Quiñones was honored with a Gabriel Award for his poignant report that followed a young man to Colombia, as he made an emotional journey to reunite with his birth mother after two decades. Quiñones covered the Albanian refugee crisis for a 20/20 one-hour special on Macedonia and Albania.
Quiñones won six national Emmy Awards for his PrimeTime Live, Burning Questions, and 20/20 work. He was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of the Congo’s virgin rainforest, which also won the Ark Trust Wildlife Award.
Quiñones has also been honored with a World Hunger Media Award and a Citation from the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for “To Save the Children,” his 1990 report on the homeless children of Bogota. He received a 1990 Emmy Award for “Window in the Past,” his look at the Yanomamo Indians.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Quiñones received a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism and makes his home in New York City.