Jim Avila Bio, Age, Family, Wife, ABC, Kidney Transplant, Weight Loss

Jim Avila

Jim Avila Biography

Jim Avila is an award-winning media personality serving as the Senior Law and Justice Correspondent for ABC News. He is also the 20/20 Correspondent based in Los Angeles. Previously he was a National Correspondent for “Nightly News.”

Jim Avila Age

He was born on July 26, 1956 in the United States. He is 65 years old.

Jim Avila Height

He is 5 feet 7 inches tall (1.7m).

Jim Avila Nationality

Avila is American by nationality. He also belongs to the Mexican-American ethnicity. “I never knew that being Mexican American could be an issue to some people,” Avila said.

Jim Avila Education

He graduated from Glenbard East High School with the name of Jim Simon.

Jim Avila Parents

Avila whose birth surname was Simon, is the son of Jim Simon, a veteran radio broadcaster and former president of the Mutual Broadcasting System and Eve Avila. He grew up in the barrio, and thought it was just like any other neighborhood.

His maternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1902. They also had eight children who worked hard in the fields of Imperial Valley in Los Angeles. He recounted the difficult story of his grandparents; his grandfather worked hard until his death at the age of 71, and his grandmother died at 89, never knowing how to speak English.

Avila referred to his mother as “the gorgeous Latina down the street” and his father was the only white kid at Los Angeles Garfield High School; both of his parents were missionaries. They were also descendants of immigrants.

Jim Avila From Jim Simon

Avilla changed his name. This is since he and his father had the same name and so they could easily be mistaken for each other in the broadcasting and television business.

“So most people change their first name, and I changed my last name and I decided to take my mother’s maiden name out of pride for the Hispanic people,” he said.

Jim Avila Siblings

He has five siblings including his brother Jaie Avila, the youngest of the five and an Investigative Reporter at News 4 San Antonio.

Jim Avila Wife

He is married however his wife’s identity is unknown. The couple have three children, Jamie, Jenny and Evan.

Jim Avila ABC

Avila is the Senior National Correspondent for ABC. He is also the 20/20 Correspondent based in Los Angeles. In this role, he specializes in law and justice and consumer investigations. From 2012 to 2016, he covered the White House.

As the Senior Law and Justice Correspondent, he has covered every major trial from Jerry Sandusky and Penn State to Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and countless others. He led reports on immigration, making several trips to the southern border to document stories of immigrants, and also covered the death of Freddie Gray and civil unrest in Baltimore.

Prior to joining ABC, Avila served as a National Correspondent for “Nightly News” since January 2000. He covered a range of domestic issues including the September 11 attacks and the aftermath and the DC sniper shootings. He also reported from Afghanistan and Iraq, during which time he filed from inside NBC’s Baghdad hotel compound during and after its bombing by terrorists.

Since 1997, Avila averaged 130 reports a year on “Nightly News,” which was the highest number for any minority in broadcast history. Before being named National Correspondent at NBC, Avila was a Chicago bureau correspondent where he covered high-profile events including the shootings in Colorado, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Prior to NBC, Avila was anchor and the investigative reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles from 1994 to 1996. There he was the principal reporter on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, helping the station earn the 1995 Golden Mike Award and a 1996 Emmy Award.


Before joining KNBC, Avila was a political reporter and anchor at WBBM-TV, the CBS owned station in Chicago, covering a variety of news stories of local, national and international importance, including the Persian Gulf War from both Saudi Arabia and Tel Aviv. Among his notable stories were the Beirut War, the TWA hijacking, the Nicaraguan civil war and the Mexican earthquake. From 1980 to 1984, he was a general assignment reporter for WLS, the ABC owned station in Chicago. Prior to that, he was a weekend anchor and the San Jose bureau chief for KPIX in San Francisco from 1976 to 1980. He began his broadcast career at KCBS Radio in San Francisco in 1973 as managing editor and was later promoted to bureau chief.

Jim Avila Awards

Jim is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including;

  1. The prestigious Merriman Award from the White House Correspondents Association for breaking the news that the United States and Cuba had reopened diplomatic relations.
  2. A National Emmy Award for his coverage of the destruction of Grand Forks, North Dakota by flood and fire.
  3. Emmy Award for covering the fate of undocumented workers during the Southern California wildfires in 2008.
  4. Five Edward R. Murrow Awards and the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle Award for his portrayal of an immigrant couple who put their son through M.I.T by collecting reusable cans from the streets of Los Angeles.
  5. The Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2004.
  6. Five Chicago-area Emmy Awards in the category of Spot News.
  7. In 1999, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists honored him with reporter of the year.
  8. Three Peter Lisagor Awards from the Headline Club of Chicago, winning for his coverage of the Peru drug wars and the death of Mayor Harold Washington.
  9. Best Reporter of 1989.

Jim Avila Kidney Transplant

In 2018, Jim had a Kidney Transplant. This was after it was clear that his kidneys were rapidly failing due to diabetes.

“He’s a big reason I got into journalism. An award winning senior correspondent with ABC News, he always seemed indestructible,” Jaie, his brother said. “But earlier this year we learned his kidneys were rapidly failing due to diabetes.”

Jim who wanted to avoid dialysis arranged for a transplant as soon as possible. His three grown children went to California to take care of him and they all volunteered to donate their kidneys, but receiving one from a sibling is often more successful.

“So last month I flew to Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for compatibility testing which showed I was a good match,” Jaie said.

The procedure was successful. However at first, the kidney did not work. It took a couple of days. One week later, Jim was healthy enough to leave the hospital.

“I wouldn’t have lived, I mean Jaie — Jaie and my kids saved my life. There’s no way I could have done six to eight years on dialysis. We had a big race to get this done before dialysis and we won the race which is great,” Jim said.

Jim Avila Weight Loss

In 2013, Avila reported on a weight loss marketing scam that authorities said took in million in sales while doing little to help people slim down.

Jim Avila Salary

He earns an average salary of $83,161 per year.

Jim Avila Net Worth

His net worth is under review.

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