The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) — a national union of more than 70,000 professional performers, recording artists and broadcasters working in the entertainment and news media — awarded AMW host John Walsh with one of its 2011 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards (The AMEES).
Here's what AFTRA had to say about our host:
"“America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh is the 2011 recipient of the AMEE Award in Entertainment.
A member of AFTRA since 1986, Walsh is known internationally as a crime fighter and victims’ rights advocate and the host of “America’s Most Wanted” – the groundbreaking reality program that’s helped law enforcement capture more than 1,100 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, Florida. Adam was found murdered two weeks later.
Born in Auburn, New York and educated at the University of Buffalo, Walsh moved to Florida with his wife, Revé, and had been a successful hotel developer before Adam’s tragic murder.
The Walshes’ 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.
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 two hundred-plus-year history.
Walsh’s three best-selling books: Tears of Rage, No Mercy and Public Enemies, tell his family’s story and about the toughest AMW cases he’s worked on."
The AMEES were created in 2003 to honor AFTRA members for excellence in their craft and their contributions to the fields of media and entertainment. Proceeds from the 2011 AMEE Awards go to benefit the AFTRA Foundation, an independent non-profit organization separate from AFTRA that provides support to charitable and educational endeavors critical to AFTRA members, including the George Heller Memorial Scholarship which provides scholarships to AFTRA members and their dependents for academic study and the International News Safety Institute, the only global organization solely dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news professionals.
Past AMEE recipients include the late "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt and his team of CBS on-air journalists including the late Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft, Dan Rather, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl and Mike Wallace. Other past honorees include Smokey Robinson, Jeanne Cooper, Vin Scully, Don LaFontaine, Cedric The Entertainer, Willard Scott, Roberta Flack, Bob Edwards, Don Hastings, Susan Flannery, Amber Tamblyn, Patti Austin, Robert Hager, Sam Donaldson, Susan Lucci, vocalist Maureen McGovern, Sam Moore, Charles Osgood, the cast of “Sesame Street” and Juanes.