ALA Press Release


For Immediate Release

June 6, 2012

J.R. Martinez to close ALA 2012 Annual Conference

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference will close with an inspiring story of resilience and optimism from daytime TV actor, “Dancing with the Stars” winner and Iraq war veteran J. R. Martinez. The actor, inspirational speaker and author J.R. Martinez will share his strategies for positive outcomes in tough times from 9:30 – 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26.
Best known for his role on ABC’s “All My Children” as combat veteran Brot Monroe, and his win on the 2011 season of “Dancing with the Stars,” Martinez is recognized worldwide for his inspiring story of survival and perseverance.
Less than a month after being deployed to Iraq in 2003, Martinez was critically injured when his Humvee ran over a landmine, leaving him trapped inside the burning vehicle. After suffering smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body, he was left fighting for his life.
After 34 months of recovery and 33 different surgeries, Martinez began using his experience to help others by sharing his story and soon became a highly sought-after motivational speaker regularly featured in national news programs such as the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “60 Minutes,” CNN, “Good Morning America” and many more.
In 2008 Martinez joined the cast of ABC’s “All My Children,” and has since appeared on the cover of People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue and was also named one of their “25 Most Intriguing People of 2011.” Also in 2011, Martinez was named the winner of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” along with his partner Karina Smirnoff, and was named as Grand Marshal of the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Martinez’s new book “Full of Heart: My story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit” (Hyperion Books) will be published in November 2012.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.
For more information on the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, please visit the ALA Conference Web site at, or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,, or ALA PR Coordinator Jennifer Petersen at (312) 280-5043,
Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations