"Exposé of Willowbrook State School" - Geraldo Rivera - WABC-TV



 The Willowbrook State school was a state funded institution for children with intellectual disabilities in Staten Island, New York from 1930 until 1983. The school was known to have poor conditions and questionable intentions. In 1972, Geraldo Rivera brought cameras into the school and exposed the conditions. 


Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Television

Effects and Outcomes

Geraldo Rivera's documentary "Willowbrook: The Last Disgrace" gained national attention after it premiered, winning him a Peabody Award and bringing awareness to public officials. A lawsuit was filed in February of 1972 in response to Rivera's expose. In 1975, three years after Geraldo Rivera's expose, the school committed to making the proper improvements to keep it open. The school failed to make those improvements, and was finally closed in 1983.

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