|Born||July 3, 1958
|Occupation||Anchor/Correspondent for CNN|
|Religion||Roman Catholic|
Staff Biography on CNN.com
Rick Sanchez (born Ricardo Leon Sánchez de Reinaldo; July 3, 1958) is an American TV news anchor who hosts Rick's List on CNN from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. In addition, he serves as a contributor to Anderson Cooper 360° and CNN International, where he frequently reports while simultaneously translating in English and Spanish. For eight months, in the interim between Paula Zahn and Campbell Brown, he anchored Out in the Open at 8 p.m. The show was to last one week in late July 2007, but the show's ratings success led CNN President Jon Klein to keep Sanchez as host of the show until January 2008. He has also filled in for Anderson Cooper and Ali Velshi on Your Money on occasion. Based in the network's world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Sanchez joined the network in September 2004.
Sanchez was involved in the network’s Peabody Award winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He anchored the network's coverage for eight hours as the levees broke in New Orleans, Louisiana, and began filing live reports from the flooding the next day. On January 18, 2010 he started a new show called Rick's List.
Sanchez was born in Guanabacoa, Cuba. The son of Cuban political exiles who came to the United States in the 1950s from Cuba, Sanchez grew up in the city of Hialeah, Florida. He graduated from Hialeah High School in 1977 and accepted a football scholarship to Minnesota State University Moorhead. He transferred to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on a CBS/WCCO Journalism Scholarship in 1979.
He and his wife, Suzanne (also a Miami native), have four children - three boys and a girl, Ricky Jr., Robby, Remmy, and Savannah.
Sanchez began his broadcasting career at KCMT in Alexandria, Minnesota, while still in college. He was hired at WSVN (formerly WCKT) in Miami, Florida in 1982 and became a weekend anchor shortly thereafter; at 22, he was the youngest television anchor in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale TV market at the time. Although he initially thrived at WSVN, Sanchez originally left the station when it was discovered that 1985 wiretaps recorded him trading favors with Alberto San Pedro, a self-proclaimed political fixer described by police as "a major corrupter in Hialeah" and who following a federal grand jury indictment for bribery of a federal public official and conspiracy to commit bribery, pled guilty to the conspiracy charge. He then worked briefly for KHOU in Houston, Texas before returning to an afternoon anchor position with WSVN. Sanchez was hired at MSNBC in 2001.
In 2003, Sanchez left MSNBC to return to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale TV market. While there, he hosted a local talk show on WTVJ helmed by executive producer Fran Mires. Sanchez later anchored on then-WB affiliated WBZL (now WSFL) until he joined CNN in 2004.
Sanchez has reported on major events across the United States and around the world, including on-the-scene coverage of Hurricane Andrew and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Sanchez has also reported on wars in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, the invasion of Grenada and the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier's regime in Haiti.
Sanchez is known for immersing himself into his stories. He has been submerged in water inside a car to explain how to best escape a sinking vehicle, been shocked by a "shock belt" to explain firsthand how overpowering the device could be when placed on prisoners, been subjected to waterboarding for a story about the controversial interrogation/torture technique, and been left atop a snow-covered mountain overnight to help explain what would be needed to survive the elements should one get stranded. His style has been parodied by Saturday Night Live (NBC) and The Daily Show.
Sanchez currently hosts an hour of live news coverage on CNN, during which viewer comments about the day's news stories from Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter are displayed both on large plasma screens in the studio and scrolling at the bottom of the screen. Sanchez's use of social networking tools to create a citizen-driven news program has generated mostly positive feedback.
On December 10, 1990, Sanchez struck a pedestrian, Jeffrey Smuzinick, with his car on a residential street near Dolphin Stadium . Smuzinick was paralyzed and eventually died in an assisted living facility in 1995. Sanchez had just left an NFL football game with his father when the accident occurred, and he fled the scene of the accident, not to return until hours later. Police officers at the scene later reported that he smelled strongly of alcohol, and when tested, he registered a blood alcohol content of .15. He was not charged with causing the accident, but was charged with and pleaded no contest to DUI.