For nearly 50 years, Al Roker has served as a weather presenter. But did you know that the NBC TV personality also has a renowned wife? Meet Deborah Roberts, an ABC News writer who is the mother of two of Al Roker’s children and the weatherman’s “rock.”
For Nearly 50 Years, Al Roker Has Been a Nationally Recognized Weatherman.
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, on August 20, 1954. In 1976, he earned a B.A. in marketing from the State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego. During his final two years of college, he made his TV weatherman debut with CBS affiliate WHEN-TV. Roker worked as a weathercaster for independent TV networks for two years before joining NBC in 1978.
Roker started working for national NBC shows after working for NBC affiliates in Cleveland and New York City. He worked for NBC News at Sunrise and then the Today Show before hosting his own show, The Al Roker Show. Al Roker Entertainment is his current production business, and he continues to report on the weather for NBC’s Today. Roker co-hosts the family lifestyle show 3rd Hour of Today. He has received 14 Emmy Awards for his efforts on television to date. Roker is also an award-winning author, philanthropist, and well-known media personality who has appeared in scores of films and television shows over the years.
Al Roker Has Been Married Three Times
Al Roker has three renowned cousins: Roxie Roker, Lenny Kravitz, and Zo Kravitz. He was also married and divorced to a woman whose identity had been withheld. The exact times are unknown. Roker married again in 1984 to WNBC reporter Alice Bell. They divorced after adopting a daughter called Courtney in 1987. He met Deborah Roberts, his future wife, in 1990, but they didn’t fall in love right away.
Deborah Roberts Is a Critically Acclaimed News Journalist
Deborah Roberts was born in Perry, Georgia, on September 20, 1960. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Georgia University’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1982. Deborah Roberts, like Al Roker, obtained immediate employment in her field. Her journalism work began in 1982 with local television stations in Georgia and Tennessee. Roberts worked as a co-anchor and NASA field correspondent for Orlando station WFTV from 1987 to 1990.
Deborah Roberts Is Famously Known for ABC’s 20/20
NBC News hired Roberts for her first big network job in 1990. She began as a general duty reporter before becoming a Dateline NBC correspondent. She joined ABC in 1995 and has stayed with the network ever since. As a 20/20 correspondent, Roberts became a household figure. Since then, she’s hosted Good Morning America, World News Tonight Weekend, and The View and appeared on popular programs like Nightline and Primetime, as well as Lifetime’s Lifeline Live.
Roberts’ work has earned her an Emmy and a Clarion Award. She and her spouse Al Roker co-wrote the 2016 book Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times.
Deborah Roberts Met Al Roker on the Set of NBC Today
Al Roker and Deborah Roberts first encountered on the set of NBC’s Today in 1990. Roker had been with the network for seven years, while Roberts was a newcomer.
“Al was so sweet,” Roberts told People afterward. “He showed me photos of his daughter and told me about his family…” I just thought he was a nice man, and that was the end of it.”
Roberts Friend-Zoned Roker at First
The two maintained a platonic friendship over time, keeping each other’s emails. Then they crossed paths again in 1992. Roberts was being bounced around the country for work, and as Roker remembers, she had a long line of “stud muffin” suitors.
Roker didn’t think he was Roberts’ type, nor did she.
“He was a nice guy but kind of annoying, overly chatty. I just didn’t think of him beyond a friend,” she told People.
Stuck in the heartbreaking hell of “Friend Zone,” Roker finally switched fate’s trajectory while housesitting for Roberts. She was covering the 1992 Olympics and he was staying in her barely used NYC apartment.
Roker Got Past the Friend Zone After Stocking Roberts’ Fridge With Groceries and Leaving Her Flowers
“I had to snoop around, so I was in the kitchen, and I open up the fridge, and there’s nothing,” Roker told The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2021. “There’s nothing in the fridge, like some old cheese, a bottle of Grey Poupon mustard, that’s about it… I open up the oven expecting to see a mess. It was a new oven I guess when she had moved in. The cardboard was still on the oven grates. I thought, ‘This woman’s never used this oven. What? This is insane.’”
So, he restocked her food and left her flowers on her table along with a note.
“Welcome home,” Roker remembered, “And then I got my first date with her a week later.”
Roberts Became Impatient and Wanted Roker to Propose
Despite the awkward start and Deborah Roberts initially being slow to warm up to Roker, she was eager to marry him by December of 1993. Roker told People that his girlfriend became “annoyed” when the holidays didn’t come with a wedding proposal.
“We had a chat,” Roker recalled, adding that he promised to propose “before Groundhog Day.” He popped the question days later, on New Year’s Day. They were on a road trip through Arizona and stopped by the Grand Canyon.
“I thought, what a great place,” said Roker. “On the rim of the Grand Canyon. And if she says, ‘No,’ one of us isn’t coming back. She thought I was gonna break up with her. I said ‘No,’ I had the ring out, I was on my knee babbling about something. It was a word salad.”
They Have Two Biological Children Together
Al Roker married Deborah Roberts in 1995 at Saint Thomas Church in New York City. In 1998, they welcomed their daughter, Leila. Her brother Nick was born in 2002.
Roker and Roberts later told Today in 2016 that motherhood came with some career sacrifices. Roberts was offered a dream job on ABC’s Good Morning America but couldn’t do it as she was still breastfeeding.
“Deborah decided to step back,” Roker told Today. “Her career suffered some for it. You always feel guilty about that.” Roberts praised her husband for listening to her and feeling her pain with her. She later told People that there was something deeply important about seeing her family as a unit and working towards that over all else.
“I love this man; I love us… I love us and I’m determined to cheer us and be there for us, make us work, and make us a priority,” she told People. They’d just celebrated their 25th Anniversary. Their children were grown up by then. And they’d weathered more than one storm.
Roberts Supported Roker Through His Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Al was identified with an aggressive form of prostate cancer in 2020. The good news was that they’d discovered it early enough that it wouldn’t be fatal right away.
“My heart just sank to my toes because it never even occurred to me that there was anything serious,” Roberts told People. “When he said, ‘It’s cancer,’ I just lost it.” The couple told their children about the news over a Zoom phone call. Then Roberts started accompanying her husband to every single doctor’s appointment.
“It was very emotional for me,” Roberts recalled. “What if he is not going to be here with me much longer? You really let your mind go there, you cherish, and you clutch, and you hold on.”
That genuine friendship may have kept Al Roker going.
“When somebody you love happens also to be your best advocate, that’s just a bonus,” he told People. “So that helps you a lot to get through. That can make all the difference… She’s been a real rock.”
Roker will undergo surgery in November 2020. His cancer levels were virtually undetectable by January. Roker stated that he will need blood testing every six months for the next several years. But, due to the love and companionship of his adoring wife, Deborah Roberts, he’d defeated the unbeatable.
Who is Al Roker’s wife? meet Deborah Roberts, the equally famous wife of the famous weather anchor