Al Roker's Wife Deborah Roberts Speaks Out About His Recovery: Inside Their Love Story
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Al Roker and his wife have been married for over 27 years and are still going strong. While the 68-year-old Today weatherman and the 62-year-old journalist faced some challenges late last year due to Roker's health scares, their love story stands the test of time.
Roberts recently joked to ET's Rachel Smith, "He's back to driving me crazy."
Here's a look at their romance.
How They Met
Roker and Roberts first met at Today in 1990. "Al was so sweet," she told People in 1999. "He showed me pictures of his daughter and talked about his family."
When They Started Dating
While they met in 1990, Roker didn't ask Roberts out until 1992 and only after she asked him to look after her apartment while she was in Barcelona covering the Summer Olympics for NBC.
"A day before she got back from her trip, I stocked her pantry, I stocked her refrigerator and left some flowers on the table and a note, 'Welcome home,'" Roker recalled on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2021. "And then I got my first date with her a week later."
Roker proposed on New Year's Day in 1994.
"Deborah was getting a little annoyed that it hadn't happened over the holidays. We had a chat, 'So when will this happen?' And I said, 'Before Groundhog Day,'" he told People, recalling how he proposed at the Grand Canyon. "I thought, what a great place. On the rim of the Grand Canyon. And if she says, 'No,' one of us isn't coming back."
Roker and Roberts Marry
On Sept. 16, 1995, Roker and Roberts tied the knot at New York City's St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Barbara Walters and Katie Couric were among the guests.
In 2020, Roker shared a video to Instagram of his wedding day, writing, "A #happy25thanniversary to @debrobertsabc who helps me a better #father #brother #person and challenges me to do better each and every day. #thankyou and #iloveyou."
The two are parents to 24-year-old daughter Leila and 20-year-old son Nicholas. Roker has another child, Courtney, with ex-wife Alice Bell.
Roker's Health Battles
In November 2020, just a few months after celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, Roker announced that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"It's a good news–bad news kind of thing," he said on Today. "Good news is we caught it early. Not-great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."
At the time, he shared that Roberts was not at the appointment when he was diagnosed. "I feel badly because I didn't tell Deborah to come with me," he noted. "In hindsight, boy I wish I'd told her to come. ...She was upset. And once she got past that, the reporter in her kinda took over. And then she's been at everything ever since."
Later that month, Roker underwent surgery with his wife by his side. "Let the healing begin. I am so in awe of this guy and his indomitable spirit. So blessed and grateful for avalanche of love, prayers and support for @alroker #gratitude," Roberts wrote on Instagram.
After the surgery, Roker announced that he was cancer free. "It was this great relief," he said on Today. "For a first start, this is terrific news. I'm going to be up for -- and a lot of people who live with cancer -- up for lifelong testing to make sure this doesn't come back."
In November 2022, Roker faced another health battle when he was hospitalized for blood clots in his legs and lungs. Roberts was again by his side.
"You are the shining sun and star in our family @alroker Love you so much. Can't wait til you're back home and feeling like your old self again," she posted to Instagram.
Roker was later released from the hospital but ended up being readmitted just after Thanksgiving. After a few more weeks in the hospital, he was able to go home and be with his family for Christmas.
"Holiday Hello. #joyful moments filled with #gratitude #health," Roberts posted.
Roker the Romantic
The weatherman knows how to keep the spark alive in his decades-long marriage.
"He's a real romantic," Roberts told People of her husband in 2021. "When I travel, I open my suitcase and I find one or two notes in there that he's slipped in, or in my purse. 'Have a great day. I'm thinking of you.' Or an Emily Dickinson sonnet or something. And I'm just like, 'Oh my gosh.' It just touches me. And he thinks that way all the time."
She added, "He does things like he sprinkles little love notes, little cards throughout my life. Sometimes there's a little card next to the coffee maker that might say something encouraging or sweet or impish or fun."
Roker Returns to Today With His Wife by His Side
On Jan. 6, 2023, Roker made his return to Today after months of being off the air, and Roberts joined him on the morning show to discuss his health battle.
"The doctors saved your life, but I think Deborah Roberts also saved your life," Savannah Guthrie told the couple.
"He is a living, breathing miracle," Roberts said on Today. "He really is, and I have to say -- I'm not overstating it, I don't think -- Al was a very, very sick man. And I think most people did not know that."
She added, "He was a medical mystery for weeks. It was the most tumultuous, frightening journey we have ever been on."
Later on Instagram, Roker expressed his gratitude for his wife, writing, "Can’t thank @debrobertsabc enough for getting me through this medical crisis. And now that she’s here at @todayshow maybe she might stay? Just kidding!!"
Roker Says He 'Wouldn't be Alive Without' Roberts
In an interview with Page Six in March 2023, Roker expressed so much gratitude towards his wife, noting that he was "just so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayers and of course, my wife Deborah. I wouldn’t be alive without her."
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."
In March 2023, Roker's daughter, Courtney Roker Laga, whom he shares with ex-wife Alice Bell, posted a sweet montage video of herself and her husband, Wesley Laga, on Instagram, showing off their baby's first sonogram and ultrasound.
"A new adventure is about to begin ❤️🍼," she captioned the clip, which was to the tune of Brent Morgan's cover of the Mariah Carey hit, "Always Be My Baby."
"Here we go!!! So very very happy!!!!! You guys," the mom-to-be's dad commented, adding, "Going for Pop-Pop."
Roberts also wrote, "This is so very exciting!!! 😍😍"
Roberts Gives Health Update on Roker
In March 2023, ET's Rachel Smith spoke with Roberts about her home life and her husband.
"He's back to driving me crazy," she joked.
This quip is a testament to how far they've come since Roker's serious health scares, where Roberts fully embraced the role of caregiver.
"I think a lot of people don't realize that -- and I never realized that -- that being a caregiver is really taxing, exhausting, frightening, all of those things and I never went through anything like this," she told ET. "And I hope I'll never do it again. But it's tough. It's tough. I'm still kind of, I think, recuperating. I'm still kind of tired. I'm still mentally exhausted, but you know what, I'm grateful and just trying to just bask in the moment and just be happy that he's well, and we're all well."
As for what got her through, Roberts noted, "I would say my faith, my spirituality got me through it. My family got me through it, my colleagues got me through it. Colleagues, many of whom are here today, lifted me up in times when I felt like I just couldn't make it. People were there and texting and emailing and calling, and that made all the difference."
For more on Roker and his family, check out the links below.
Deborah Roberts on Al Roker's Health, How She's Doing as His Caregiver
Hoda Kotb and Al Roker Share a Candy Bar 'Lady and the Tramp' Style
Al Roker's Daughter Courtney Is Pregnant With His First Grandchild
Al Roker Shows the Process for Shaving His Head
Willie Geist on Al Roker's Health Battle and 'Today' Show Return