Al Roker's Going to Be a Grandpa: A Guide to the 'Today' Show Families
The Today show has become a staple for American families, who invite them into their homes each day.
While many know the show's anchors as a family in their own right, delivering news, entertainment, and lifestyle content to viewers across the country, less is known about the on-air talent's off-set families, who love, support them and stand by their side through it all.
With the exciting news that Al Roker is gearing up to be a grandpa following a year of highs and lows for the weatherman, ET is taking a closer look at the Today show anchors and their family members.
Roker has been a fixture on the Today show since 1996, serving as the weather anchor and co-hosting the third hour of the program. In 1984, Roker married Alex Bell. The pair went on to welcome daughter, Courtney Melissa Roker in 1987 -- Roker's eldest daughter, who is turning the weatherman into a "Pop-Pop" at the age of 68. Roker and Alex divorced in 1994, with the beloved TV personality eventually re-marrying fellow journalist, Deborah Roberts, who he met while working at NBC.
The two, who are still married to this day, welcomed two children of their own -- Leila, 24, and Nicholas, 20.
Roker, who has faced several health battles over the years, including prostate cancer, and most recently, over the last few months, with the Today show staple forced to step away from the program to undergo treatment for a slew of health conditions that landed him in the hospital.
Following his return to Today, Roker told Page Six that he "wouldn’t be alive without" Deborah.
The weatherman also admitted that he had no idea how close to death he really came. "I guess I know it now," he shared. "I didn’t know it at the time. Deborah was great at keeping all that away from me so I thought I was doing OK but that was great because I was able to focus on getting better."
Hoda Kotb is another co-anchor of the Today show and has been with the program since 2008. Dealing with health issues of her own, Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, a battle she's often discussed on the show. During that time, the the 58-year-old morning show anchor was married to Burzis Kanga but the pair ultimately split in 2008.
Kotb met financier Joel Schiffman in 2013, with the couple dating for two years before going public with their relationship in 2015. They would go on to build a life together and in 2017, they decided to expand their family by adopting a baby girl named Haley. In 2019, Kotb and Schiffman became a family of four after the couple adopted their second daughter, Hope.
"Joel and I were standing there when they hand you the baby and it’s the closest thing to a live birth I think you'll ever see," she recalled. "But anyway, in that moment I was like, my god, my heart just grew! It’s amazing. Anyway, I can’t believe it’s happening, y'all. I can't."
In November 2019, Kotb announced on Today that she and Schiffman were engaged after six years together. He proposed after a dinner on the beach during their tropical vacation.
"Joel proposed to me. It was a good trip," she told her co-anchors. "I was totally shocked... We went on our usual vacation. We ended up having a little dinner on the beach. And I was like, we were done with the dinner, I was eating the churros, I looked in the bottom of the bowl, and he was like, 'I have something else I'd like to say.' And he said some beautiful things and then he got down on one knee and then he said, 'Will you be my wife?' I said, 'Yes!'"
Despite their strong bond and promising future, the couple ultimately split up in January 2022, with the Today With Hoda & Jenna co-anchor making the announcement on-air. She shared that they decided they were "better as friends and parents" than as an engaged couple.
Earlier this month, Kotb was also absent from the show, as 3-year-old Hope suffered health issues of her own.
"Little Hope had to go to the hospital and she was in the ICU for a few days and then in the hospital for another week and it was really scary," the mother of two shared. "She's vibrant and brilliant. She's home. She's home. She's home. I'm over the moon that she's home."
Hoda told her supporters, "I felt you. I heard you. I needed you."
Jenna Bush Hager
Jenna Bush Hager joined the Today show team in 2009. The daughter of former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, Hager understood early on what it was to be a part of a famous family. She married Henry Hager in 2008, with the pair going on to welcome three children together, two daughters named Mila and Poppy, and most recently, a son named Hal, born in 2019.
Bush Hager has spoken both about motherhood and the pain of losing her grandparents, simultaneously -- three of her beloved grandparents George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush and Jenna Hawkins -- died over the course of one year -- in her book, Everything Beautiful in Its Time.
"I think when you’re dealing with love and loss, you can realize that one day time will heal and you’ll be thinking back on these people and missing them, but also just so grateful for their lives and for the fact that you got to have these relationships with them," Bush Hager said at the time.
She added of the memories chronicled in the book, "These are raw moments of how much I loved them, but then also the moments of finding out they were gone. I write about that all. But I think I wrote about it for myself too, honestly, because it was cathartic. It was therapeutic to put my words, my grief onto paper."
She also wrote about how she enjoyed watching her daughters next to her grandparents, the last moments of their lives, and how it was a "really poignant thing as a mom because it was just this youth next to this wisdom."
Bush Hager said that while it was tough to get pregnant while losing her loved ones, she ultimately chose to "look at all these wonderful things as blessings, as something you’re grateful for."
"It helps every single day whether you’re going through grief or not," she noted.
Dylan Dreyer is a meteorologist and co-host of the third hour of the show. Dreyer married cameraman Brian Fichera in 2012, with the pair going on to welcome three children together, Calvin, 6, Oliver, 3, and Russell, 1.
Dreyer shared much of her third pregnancy both on the show and on social media, with Dreyer sharing back in July 2021, that her water broke six weeks early.
While the premature labor was cause for concern, Kotb assured viewers that Dreyer and Russell were doing "just fine."
"Mom and babe [are] doing just fine. He did come early. He did not want to stay inside," Kotb said at the time,
Prior to the baby's birth, Dreyer told her Instagram followers, "My water broke Sunday evening and I've been hanging at the hospital. Our little guy is anxious to get out and meet us! Doctors are closely monitoring both of us and trying to keep him on the inside for a little while longer to get stronger. All is well! I'm in great hands and I have the best person to keep me calm and comfortable. Looks like we'll be getting to meet our littlest boy sometime this week... 6 weeks early! Guess he couldn't handle being left out of all the fun his brothers have been having! We'll gladly take any extra prayers you have."
Willie Geist is a co-host of the Sunday edition of the Today show and has been a part of the team since 2012. Geist married his high school sweetheart, Christina Sharkey, in Humacao, Puerto Rico in 2033.
The couple have two children together, a daughter, Lucie 15, and a son, George, 13.
The 47-year-old journalist and his wife opened up to The Local Moms Network in 2019, where they opened up about parenting and their two children.
When asked about Geist as a father, Christina couldn't help but gush over her hubby.
"My nickname for him when the kids were young (and still now) is 'Fun Dad/Fun Daddy.' He’s tons of fun! He’s a big guy, 6 feet 4 inches, so he’s a presence in any room he enters. When you’re a little kid that presence is felt even more. He’s really playful but also very loving and emphatic and considerate of both of our kids feelings and emotions. He’s in touch with them as kids and people, and celebrating what they’re best at," she shared. "My son has an incredibly advanced sense of humor and my daughter has an adult appreciation of music and those come from Willie -- and I’d like to think me too."
While Geist has interviewed everyone from politicians and royalty to movie stars and musicians, he told the outlet that his kids aren't too impressed by his accolades -- except for the time he took them to watch One Direction perform.
"They have their own lives and like all kids, they’re not overly impressed by their parents. But when I started on the Today show, One Direction was playing on the plaza at the height of their mania. We brought the kids," Geist recalled. "George had just been in my sister’s wedding and he had a tuxedo, and had been told if there is a big moment in life, you wear a tuxedo. He was 2 ½ and he put on his full tux for rocking out to One Direction."
Sheinelle Jones is a news anchor and correspondent, and has been on the Today show since 2014.
Jones married Uche Ojeh, a managing partner at a private equity firm, in 2007. Together, they have children, Kayin, 13, and twins Uche and Clara, 10.
In honor of Uche's birthday last month, Jones posted a slideshow to Instagram, sharing pictures of the couple throughout their relationship, including where it started -- all the way back to when they met at Northwestern University.
"Happy birthday Uche," she wrote in the video. "To think it all started right here at Northwestern...25 years ago. Then marriage a decade later. Then baby #1, then #2 & #3, moving to NYC, and 10,000 games, music and dance lessons later ... We're just getting started."
Jones has often spoken about her husband and their children -- particularly Uche's Nigerian upbringing and their children's love for wearing the traditional clothing from their father's home country.
"I think it is important to my husband that my kids are brought up knowing his side and his culture," she said in 2019 Today holiday special. "So, I actually am happy that every year -- and even more than every year, whenever we get together -- they get new native wear because as they continue to grow, they continue to get new outfits."
Longtime VJ and MTV personality, Carson Daly, joined the Today show as a co-host of the third hour in 2013.
Daly got engaged to food blogger Siri Pinter, that same year. The couple would go on to tie the knot in 2015, and have since welcomed four children together, Jackson, 14, Etta, 10, and London, 8 and Goldie, 2.
The Voice host has been openly spoken about his family and has even brought his son Jackson to work with him. Following an appearance on NBC Nightly News Kids Edition, back in 2020, Daly brought his mini-me to Today, where he gushed about his son's on-air moment.
"That was pretty cool, I'm really proud of the kid just for getting up and working and not slacking off like it's summertime around here," he told his co-anchors.
"It just goes to show you if you eat your vegetables and show up on time, you can ascend the news ranks rather quickly," Daly quipped.
Savannah Guthrie has been a part of the Today show since 2012, often serving as Kotb's counterpart. Guthrie married husband Michael Feldman, a communication strategist, in 2014, though they first met at Guthrie's 40th birthday in 2008.
Guthrie and Feldman started their family soon after their wedding day. They welcomed their first child, a daughter named Vale, in 2014. And years later, a baby boy named Charlie.
Speaking to People about becoming a parent later in life, Guthrie said told the outlet "always wanted to be a mom" and that she and Feldman were worried they may have waited too long -- when Vale was born, Guthrie was 43 and Feldman was 46.
"We thought maybe it was too late and we'd lost our chance," Guthrie said. "When we found out we were pregnant, I don't think there were two happier people on this planet."
Guthrie's children were a big hit during the COVID-19 quarantine, with both her children helping mom broadcast from home.
"That made me smile. I think it was 6:45. Savannah's getting ready, doing teases. Who decides it's time to curl up and snuggle up with momma? Charley," Kotb said while the video of Guthrie's little ones, then 5 and 3, played. "By the way, I have to tell you my blood pressure went down, SG."
"In the sixth week of home basement broadcasting we've really broken the seal," Guthrie joked. "The duct tape on the door has been lifted and here they are."
"I think this should be our permanent morning boost," Kotb added.
Craig Melvin co-hosts the third hour of the Today show, joining the team in 2018. Melvin found love in the workplace with fellow reporter Lindsay Czarniak. The pair got married in 2011 and went on to welcome two children together, a son named Delano, 8 and a daughter named Sybil, 6.
Back in 2021, the journalist opened up to Parents about his experience raising bi-racial children, and the challenges that come with teaching his kids about their background.
While Melvin said his kids "don't have a lot of questions yet" when it comes to racial injustice, he said he's "not naive enough to think it's going to stay that way forever." The father of two went on to recall a complex moment in his house when Delano thought his younger sister was white.
"Just the other day, while Del was watching TV, he suddenly said, 'Oh, Dad, I have black skin. I'm Black! And Sibby is white, just like Mom,' " he shared. " Czarniak told the outlet she jumped into the conversation to unpack Delano's comment.
"I replied, 'Actually, you're both Black!' But then I realized Del was just pointing out what he saw with his own eyes, which is that Sibby's complexion is closer to mine," she shared.
"The reality is that society is going to view them both as Black. It's complicated," Melvin added.
Kristen Welker is a chief White House correspondent for NBC and Weekend Today co-host, who joined the show in 2020. Welker married John Hughes in 2017, with the pair welcoming their daughter, Margot, in 2021 through a surrogate. Welker has spoken openly about her fertility issues on the show.
After announcing that she and Hughes were expecting with the help of a surrogate, a decision she said the couple made after nearly three years of trying to get pregnant. Sharing a copy of a letter she wrote to her unborn daughter, Welker called the moment a dream come true.
"I cannot wait until the moment I hold you for the very first time -- it is all I have dreamed about for years," she wrote at the time. The letter described lengthy fertility treatments and the day a doctor told them they would need a surrogate.
"On that day, I cried so many tears that I didn’t think they would ever stop," she wrote. "I felt as though I had let you down because I couldn’t carry you myself."
After welcoming Margot into the world, she shared the birthing experience with her Today show family -- she shared that she helped catch Margot, while her husband cut the cord.
"[We and our surrogate] stayed in rooms next to each other and visited throughout so that we and little Margot could thank her for bringing Margot into the world," she recalled. "Also, Margot is truly the love of our lives. Seeing her precious face and looking into her eyes had made every minute of our journey worth it."
Peter Alexander is also a chief White House Correspondent for NBC and co-host of Weekend Today, joining the crew in 2018. Alexander married fellow journalist Alison Starling in 2012. The couple share two daughters, Ava, 9, and Emma 7. In September, Alexander opened up to Parents.com about how he juggles fatherhood and his career.
"I’ll take the last flight home just to be able to sleep in my own bed and kiss them, even if they’re already asleep when I get home, or I’ll take the earliest flight in the morning if that allows me to read and put them to bed the night before," Alexander told the outlet. "I’ll hustle back from anchoring (Today) in time to see my daughter’s soccer game and then my other daughter’s softball game. If we’re allowed to clear out of the White House before it’s too late, I’ll hustle over to a practice or parent-teacher night."
Alexander said spending quality time with his family as often as he can is not only precious to himself, but something he know is for his daughters too. He explained, "I can see it in their eyes when I’m there to experience those things in person -- how valuable it is for them too."
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