John Walsh, creator and host of “America’s Most Wanted,” was named Tuesday as the 2011 recipient of the Governors Award by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The award will be presented to Walsh at the creative arts Emmy ceremony on September 10, one week before the primetime televised ceremony airing on Fox. The announcement was made by ATAS Chairman and CEO John Shaffner.
“John Walsh has dedicated his life to the betterment of society, and while doing so has used television in an inventive and extraordinary way,” Shaffner said. “His contribution to society goes far beyond just hosting a hit TV show, but sets a prime example of how television can be used to convey an important message.”
In its 33-year history, the Governors Award has honored people or groups that have “made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.” Other recent recipients have included the Ad Council, Norman Brokaw, Jerry Lewis, and Sheila Nevins.
As host of “America’s Most Wanted,” Walsh has made the public aware of dangerous criminals, resulting in the capture of more than 1,500 fugitives and finding over 50 missing children since the show started in 1988. He became active in this area when his own son Adam was abducted in 1981 and found murdered a few days later. His efforts have been recognized by the federal government and by law enforcement officials throughout the local, state, and national levels. While the show will continue with occasional specials, the final regular episode of the series aired on June 18.