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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Geraldo Rivera visiting UA today

    On a day when many eyes will be fixated on cartoonist Keith Knight’s visit to campus, another controversial figure will be at the UofA Bookstore.

    Author and television personality Geraldo Rivera will be in the bookstore from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday for a book signing and will answer questions afterward. Rivera will also be touring the media arts department, speaking to students and viewing their work, said Meg Askey, associate marketing specialist for the School of Media Arts.

    A UA alumnus and prize-winning journalist, Rivera may be best known for his television show, “”Geraldo at Large.”” He is currently promoting his latest book, “”His Panic: Why Americans fear Hispanics in the U.S.””

    Rivera “”definitely”” has a lot to share, said Chris Schafer, program coordinator for UofA Bookstores.

    “”I think people may not be familiar with the score of his career as a journalist,”” Schafer said.

    Schafer and Askey are responsible for planning Rivera’s visit to the UA, along with Vicky Westover, program director of the Hanson Film Institute.

    Westover said she was listening to National Public Radio one day and heard Rivera give an interview about his book. Not only did Westover know Rivera is an alumnus, but she also thought what he had to say about the book would directly relate to a “”topic of great interest in our community.””

    After calling Rivera’s agent to pursue setting up an event with Rivera, Westover said “”his agent called back the very next day and said he’d love to come.””

    Not only has Rivera waived his speaking fee; he is also paying for travel expenses, including his flight to Tucson, Westover said.

    “”He’s been really easy to work with – whatever we want,”” Westover said. “”He’s been really generous.””

    For those interested, “”His Panic”” is available at the UofA Bookstore. The book’s list price is $24.95, but the bookstore is currently selling it at 30 percent off.

    Rivera will also be speaking at the Fox Theatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday with Jim Nintzel of the Tucson Weekly. The evening event is designed to be a conversation between Rivera and Nintzel on “”His Panic,”” Westover said.

    Both events are free and open to the public.

    Rivera, who enrolled at the UA in 1963, can expect the university to be different than it was back then, Westover said.

    “”This isn’t the UA of the ’60s that he knew, where he wasn’t comfortable being Hispanic,”” Westover said. “”This is a university that is striving to meet the needs of Hispanic students.””

    After his time at the UA, Rivera went on to the Brooklyn Law School, Westover said.

    In 1969, he was the only Puerto Rican to graduate from the law school, Westover added.

    “”He really deserves his props for his early career,”” she said.

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