Co-Anchor, 'Primetime Live' John Quiñones is the Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC newsmagazine Primetime and has been with the network nearly 30 years. He is the sole anchor of the Primetime series What Would You Do?, one of the highest rated newsmagazine franchises in recent years. During his tenure, he has reported extensively for ABC News, predominantly serving as a correspondent for Primetime and 20/20.
In 2010, Quiñones was the first reporter out of the 2,000 journalists who covered the Chilean Mining Disaster to get an exclusive interview with one of the survivors. His work for What Would You Do? captures the way people react when confronted with dilemmas that compel them to either take action or walk away. To that end, he has extensively covered a religious sect in Northern Arizona that forces its young female members to take part in polygamous marriages and followed a group of would-be Mexican immigrants as they attempted to cross into the US via the treacherous route known as “The Devil’s Highway,” among many other endeavors. Previously, Quiñones anchored the critically acclaimed ABC News special Latin Beat, which focused on the wave of Latin talent sweeping the US, the impact of the recent population explosion, and how it will affect the nation as a whole.
Having grown up in a poor family of migrant workers to eventually become ABC’s first Latino correspondent and a seven-time Emmy Award winner, Quiñones shares his powerful story with audiences around the country, encouraging them to pursue their dreams regardless of socioeconomic barriers. He particularly emphasizes the role education played in his success in his captivating and inspiring keynotes.
Quiñones joined ABC News in June 1982 as a general assignment correspondent based in Miami, providing reports for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and other ABC News broadcasts. He was one of the few American journalists who reported from Panama City during the US invasion in December 1989. During the ‘80s, he spent nearly a decade in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama reporting for World News Tonight. Prior to joining ABC News, he was a reporter with WBBM-TV in Chicago. He won two Emmy Awards for his 1980 reporting on the plight of illegal aliens from Mexico. From 1975 to 1978, he was news editor at KTRH radio in Houston, Texas. During that period, he also was an anchor-reporter for KPRC-TV.
He was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of the Congo’s virgin rainforest, which also won the Ark Trust Wildlife Award, and in 1990 he received an Emmy for Window in the Past, a look at the Yanomamo Indians. He received a National Emmy Award for his work on the ABC documentary Burning Questions—The Poisoning of America, which aired in September 1988, and he was also 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. Among his other prestigious awards are the First Prize in International Reporting and Robert F. Kennedy Prize for his piece on Modern Slavery—Children Sugar Cane Cutters in the Dominican Republic. In 2005, the Smithsonian Museum’s exhibit, "Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement," named Quiñones as one of the 25 most prominent Latinos in the US.
He was awarded an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza. He also contributed reports to ABC News’s unprecedented 24-hour, live, global Millennium broadcast, which won the George Foster Peabody Award. He was honored with a Gabriel Award for a 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 received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas. He received a Masters from the Columbia School of Journalism. He received the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and his coverage on the African Congo was named one of the 50 greatest stories by a graduate in the last 100 years.