May 4, 2012

J.R. Martinez now a proud father


Dalton Daily Citizen

— Add another title to J.R. Martinez’s long list of accomplishments: Dad.

Martinez, a former Dalton resident and “Dancing With the Stars” winner, and his girlfriend, Diana González-Jones, welcomed their first child on Wednesday.

They named the baby girl Lauryn Anabelle Martinez.

“She has a couple of cute little freckles on her cheeks, a full head of hair and the cutest little lips,” Martinez told People magazine.

The couple has already nicknamed her Belle.

Martinez is a 2002 Dalton High School graduate, an injured Iraq War veteran, an actor, a motivational speaker and the most recent winner of ABC’s television show “Dancing With the Stars.” Martinez was born in Shreveport, La., and lived in Hope, Ark., before moving to Dalton the summer before his senior year of high school in 2001. He resided here a short time after graduation.

In March 2003, Martinez was seriously injured in an explosion in Iraq, suffering burns to more than 40 percent of his body. Although his stay here was brief, Martinez considers Dalton his hometown. His mother, Maria Zavala, still lives in Dalton while Martinez resides in Los Angeles.