Albert Lincoln “Al” Roker, Jr was born on August 20, 1954 in Queens, New York, He is a television personality, journalist, actor, weather forecaster and author. Currently he works as the weather for anchor on NBC’s Today. He also sometimes serves as the co anchor on NBC’s Nightly News.
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Roker’s mom was a Jamaican and his father was a Bahamian. Having both parents come from island origins gave Al a unique racial makeup. He has no hint of his parent’s accents because he grew up in New York. New York has a lot of immigrants so Al fit right in as a child.
Al graduated of with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1976. The degree would come in handy as the bulk of Al’s career has been news broadcasting.
Roker was married to a woman named Alice Bell from 1984 to 1994. After they got ad divorce, he went on to marry Deborah Roberts on September 16, 1995. They married only a year after Roker’s divorce because Roker was determined to find love. His first marriage had lasted a decade so it was hard for him to go through life without his long time partner. He needed someone to fill the void in his heart. Deborah ended up being the perfect woman to get Al out of his slump.
They have two children from their marriage. His daughter Leila was born in November of 1998 and his son Nicholas Albert was born in July of 2002. He is still married to his wife Deborah and they are really happy with their children.
Al started his broadcasting career when he was hired as a weather for anchor CBS affiliate WHEN-TV in Syracuse, New York while he was still going to college. Getting job experience while still going to school was invaluable for Al. He was able to apply the concepts he was learning in school to the real world. He was also getting positive reinforcement for the path he chose. He could see that his choice of study was actually something he wanted to do.
After finishing college, Al went on to take another weather anchor job at an independent station called WTTG where he worked for two years. After that quick stint, he went on to work for a NBC affiliate called WKYC-TV which was located in Cleveland in 1978. Even though he had to move away from New York to Ohio, he didn’t mind because he got to work for national company.
After five years in Ohio, Al got the chance to return home to New York. He was hired to be a weekend forecaster in 1983 but it only took him 8 months to become the weeknight forecaster. He replaced WNBC-TV veteran Dr. Frank Field who held the job for over three decades. Al was lucky that Frank was having contract disputes with NBC. NBC decided not to give in to Frank’s demands so they were seeking a replacement.
Al enjoyed his rise at NBC as he began to establish himself as a notable forecaster. During a 13 year span from 1983 to 1997, Roker was the regular substitute for the NBC News at Sunrise. In a 5 year span from 1990 to 1996, he would substitute on the popular program, The Today Show.
In 1996, Al got his own show called The Al Roker Show which was a CNBC weekend talk show. Roker became a big hit on the mainstream when late night talk show host David Lettermen asked him to compete in an elevator race. The funny segment won Al fans across the world.
Roker used to have obesity problems, he tried many ways of losing the weight. He tried numerous diets but they did not work. So he decided to try a procedure called Gastric bypass surgery and fortunately after that surgery, he was able to lose 100 pounds.
After the surgery, he was having a good and healthy life but then he started suffering with his knee. He underwent a knee arthroplasty and he also had a back operation in 2005. Doctors said it could be problems caused by his obesity.
After suffering all the consequences of being obese for several years, Roker wanted to talk about it on Today to give inspiration and alert other people about obesity and how it could affect their health. After that he said all this process of weight loss gave him life lessons about the way he was eating and he recognized he was at the edge of the death.
Roker stated he has had a lot of problems during his career for being black. He says that racism is not something from the past, but something that is a real problem in our modern society and he affirms he has been a victim of racism more than one time since he was a child.
Something happened to him that he said was an act of racism. He was in the New York streets with his 13 year-old boy, and they were waiting for a taxi to go home. They got passed up by a NYC yellow cab, but then the same cab picked up a white person a block away from where they were.
His son was crying and asking his father why this happened and he answered “Ignorant people who make dumb choices, son”. He actually he posted that on his social media accounts and mentioned the “NYC taxi” account. A lot of Roker’s fans felt bad about the fact that he and his son were treated badly, and the worse thing is that even in our modern times there are people who still have problems with race.
Roker’s salary is $8 million dollars since he is one of the most famous persons on Today. His net worth is $30 Million dollars.
Roker stated he was proud of all the years he spent on his career and that now he’s reaping what he sowed with all the hard work he put in.
Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020