John Walsh (born December 26, 1945 in Auburn, New York) is the host of the TV show America's Most Wanted. Walsh is known for his activism against criminals, particularly those who target children. He usually appears wearing a black leather coat, which has become his visual signature.
In the summer of 1981, Walsh was a partner in a hotel management company in Hollywood, Florida. He and his wife, RevĂ©, had a six-year-old son, Adam. On July 27, 1981, Adam was abducted. His severed head was later found in a drainage canal more than 100 miles away from home, although his body was never recovered.
The prime suspect in Adam's abduction and murder, Ottis Toole, was never charged in the Adam Walsh case. He died in prison while serving life for other crimes.
It wasn't long after Adam's death that the Walsh family turned their grief into action, helping missing and exploited children. Against bureaucratic and legislative problems, John and RevĂ©'s efforts eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984.
Subsequently, they founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to legislative reform. Recently, the centers, originally located in West Palm Beach, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Orange County, California; and Rochester, New York; merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), where John Walsh serves on the Board of Directors.
Today, Walsh continues to testify before Congress and state legislatures on crime, missing children and victims' rights issues. His latest efforts include lobbying for a Constitutional amendment for victims' rights.
Walsh has also been the host of the FOX television show America's Most Wanted since 1988. He was selected as host after the program's pilot had been completed and after a lengthy search. By that time, Walsh was already well-known because of the 1981 kidnapping and murder of his son, and for his actions to help missing and exploited children.
In July 2005, Walsh attempted to assist the family of missing teen Natalee Holloway. Walsh was critical of the Aruban crime investigation and, along with T.V. personality Dr. Phil, urged Americans to boycott Aruba.
Walsh was also the special guest on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired on August 14, 2005, visiting Colleen Nick, like Walsh the parent of a missing child (Morgan Nick, disappeared in 1995, still missing). Walsh has featured the Morgan Nick case on America's Most Wanted several times.