John Walsh is known internationally as a crime fighter, victims’ advocate and host of “America’s Most Wanted,” the reality program that helped law enforcement capture more than 1,200 fugitives and brought home more than 50 missing children. He never sought the role, but fighting for justice has been his mission since July 27, 1981 – the day his six-year-old son, Adam, was abducted from a Hollywood, Fla. mall near their home. Adam’s remains were found two weeks later.
Through their experience, Walsh and his wife Revé, realized 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 was created in 1984, after President Ronald Reagan signed the “Missing Children’s Assistance Act.”
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, John was made an honorary U.S. Marshal. He is only one of three people to receive this honor in the organization’s history.
Walsh has been the driving force behind major pieces of child protection legislation. This work led to him being honored five times by four presidents. The Walshes had three more children after Adam and John continues to fight for victims’ rights.