Al Roker Biography - Selected writings (2022)

1954—

Television weathercaster

Roker, Al, photograph. AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.

Al Roker may describe himself as "goofy-looking" and "nothing special," but his combination of accurate forecasting and warm, relaxed delivery have won him possibly the most visible weather anchor position on television. Roker is the weekday weathercaster for the National Broadcasting Company's Today Show, a morning news-and-information program watched by millions and millions of Americans. Roker inherited his position on Today from the equally affable Willard Scott in 1995, adding a new laurel to a two-decade career in the television weather forecasting business. He is also host of his own cable channel weekend talk show, The Al Roker Show. Success has done little to alter Roker's working methods—or his opinion of himself. "We know weather is one of the main reasons people tune in to the news," he said in the New York Times. "So I try to do my best to be accurate. Then I hope for the best."

Roker comes from a blue-collar background where his hard-working parents stressed education and achievement. His father, Albert Lincoln Roker, was a bus driver who also served as a labor-relations negotiator for New York City's Transit Authority. His mother was a homemaker who raised the six Roker children in a home in the St. Albans section of Queens, New York. Al Jr., the oldest in the family, graduated from Manhattan's Xavier High School, where he spent four years developing his comic skills and indulging his interests in graphic art.

The cost of tuition at a private college was out of reach for the Roker family, so Al attended the State University of New York at Oswego. There he majored in graphic communications, but he took classes in meteorology to satisfy the university's science requirements. Roker found he had a talent for meteorology, and his interest in the science grew as his studies progressed. While still a sophomore in college, he landed a part-time job as weekend weather forecaster at nearby WTVH-TV in Syracuse. By the time he earned his bachelor's degree in 1976, he had been promoted to weekday weather-caster at the station. Roker did not earn a degree in meteorology, but few television weather forecasters do. In fact, his back ground contains more science than that of many of his colleagues, and he became knownfor writing his own forecasts and using NBC's radar—rather than the National Weather Service—to keep him up-to-date on local and national weather.

(Video) Tragic Details About Al Roker

Soon after graduating from college, Roker took a job as weathercaster for WTTG-TV in Washington, DC. WTTG is a local independent station, and while there the young Roker had ample opportunity to study other weather anchors' techniques. One local hero Roker studied was the chubby and avuncular Willard Scott, who was then forecasting weather at the NBC affiliate in the nation's capital. Today Roker credits Scott with teaching him the secret to a long career on the air. "I used to be crazy, do all kinds of gimmicky things," Roker admitted in the New York Times. "Willard took me aside one day and said, 'Just be yourself. It'll last a lot longer.'"

From WTTG Roker moved on to WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. The job in the Midwest was Roker's first with an NBC affiliate, and—as an avid weather-watcher—he admits that he misses the assignment in Cleveland. After five years at WKYC, Roker moved on in 1983 to WNBC-TV in New York City. His parents, who were still living in Queens, were thrilled to welcome him home.

Roker's first position with WNBC was weekend weather anchor. By 1985 he had worked his way up to weekly weather forecaster, earning New York magazine's "Best Weatherman" award. Roker had the same easygoing, ordinary-guy delivery that characterizes his weather spots now, but he also exhibited a keen understanding of meteorology on both a local and national level. He seemed at ease urging New Yorkers to play hooky from work on sunny spring days, and deeply committed and serious when tracking Atlantic hurricanes and other dangerous weather. With an 80 percent accuracy rate, he quickly earned the American Meteorological Society's prestigious Seal of Approval.

Asked in a 1987 New York magazine profile if he would like to replace Willard Scott on the Today Show at some point, Roker disclaimed any ambitions. "Willard is my idol. The idea of stepping into his shoes terrifies me," he said. Over the next decade, Roker had ample opportunity to shed his fears and prepare to be Scott's replacement. In addition to his duties with the weekly local NBC newscast, he became weathercaster for the weekend edition of Today and a substitute for Scott on weekdays. By the time Scott retired in 1995, Roker had firmly established himself as the heir apparent and continued to hold the position a decade later.

A yo-yo dieter with thick glasses who stands about five-feet-eight, Roker thinks a great deal of his appeal lies in his "ordinary Joe" persona. "It's part of my stock in trade," he explained in the New York Times. "People look at me and feel superior." Whatever the secret of his success, Roker has achieved what many would consider the pinnacle of television weather forecasting success as the national weather correspondent for the highly rated Today Show. Unlike his predecessor, however, Roker has not just settled into the staff of Today with no further ambitions. Late in 1995 he inaugurated The Al Roker Show, a weekend talk show run on the cable channel CNBC. He also served as narrator for a Public Broadcasting System documentary on weather entitled Savage Skies.

Roker's fans are many and diverse. Entertainment Weekly once dubbed him a "Cool Ordinary Guy." MTV did a feature on him called "What It's Like To Be Al." And everyone from New York's mayor Rudolph Giuliani to reporter Barbara Walters turned up at his 1995 wedding to television journalist Deborah Roberts. Roker, who lives in New York, seemed truly content with his celebrity status and his high-profile job at NBC. "Our problem is that sometimes we have too much fun," he said of himself and his Today co-hosts in the New York Times. "We forget we're on television."

(Video) The Transformation Of Al Roker From 20 To 67 Years Old

While Roker continued to hold his spot on the Today Show, he continually branched out in diverse directions. He set up Al Roker Productions, Inc. in 1994 to do "all things Al," according to Roker's Web site. Hehas published a parenting book and two cookbooks. He appeared on Dateline in 2004 to report on his health status two and a half years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery to reduce his weight. He hosted a special on NBC called "All Roker Investigates: Katie.com," which offered viewers information about Internet predators. And he hosted a Court TV show called "Faulty Forensics" that revealed the devastating consequences in the criminal justice system due to poor procedures in a Houston crime lab. His travel series called Going Places won high ratings on PBS. Whatever his interest, Roker seemed able to craft it into a package for audiences, making TV Guide contributor J. Max Robins wonder: "Is Al Roker laying the groundwork to be the next Oprah?" It seems the answer is yes.

Selected writings

Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Father-hood, Scribner, 2000.

Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue, Scribner, 2002.

Al Roker's Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook: More Than 125 Recipes for Family Celebrations All Year Long, Scribner, 2003.

Sources

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, June 27, 2004.

(Video) NBC Today's Al Roker

Entertainment Weekly, February 11, 1994, p. 42.

Grand Rapids Press, August 25, 2004.

Houston Chronicle, November 5, 2004.

New York, August 17, 1987, p. 20.

New York Times, September 2, 1992, pp. C1, C10.

People, January 23, 1995, p. 73; October 2, 1995, p. 72.

(Video) Al Roker Ripps Heidi & Spencer To Pieces on The Today Show

TV Guide, September 2002.

On-line

Al Roker, www.roker.com (January 31, 2005).

Other

Additional information supplied by NBC News, Inc.

FAQs

What is Al Roker's annual salary? ›

Al Roker Net Worth
Net Worth:$70 Million
Salary:$10 Million
Date of Birth:Aug 20, 1954 (68 years old)
Gender:Male
Height:5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
2 more rows

Is Al Roker a true meteorologist? ›

No, Albert Lincoln Roker Jr. is an American weather forecaster, journalist, television personality, actor, and author. His degree is in communication, not meteorology.

What does Al Roker have a degree in? ›

Al Roker

What did Al Roker study? ›

The cost of tuition at a private college was out of reach for the Roker family, so Al attended the State University of New York at Oswego. There he majored in graphic communications, but he took classes in meteorology to satisfy the university's science requirements.

What is Lester Holt salary? ›

Lester Holt earns $15 million salary annually under his current contract with NBC. Prior to joining NBC, Lester Holt spent 19 years with CBS, as a reporter, anchor, and international correspondent. Lester Holt is considered as one of the richest and highest paid television hosts in the United States.

What is the annual salary of Savannah Guthrie? ›

What is Savannah Guthrie's salary? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Savannah has an impressive salary of $8 million with a whopping net worth of $30 million.

Who is Al Roker's first wife? ›

Alice Bell

What is Al Roker's age? ›

Does Al Roker have a PHD? ›

Raised in Queens, New York, Roker received his B.A. in Communications from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1976, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the school in 1998. He resides in Manhattan with his wife, ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts.

What disability does Al Roker son have? ›

Beloved TV personality Al Roker and his family are no different, as shown in a recent Instagram video of his son – who has autism – learning he's been accepted into college. Roker posted the video of his son Nick in mid-December.

Why are Weathermen called meteorologists? ›

Aristotle got the title of his book from the Greek word “meteoron,” which meant “a thing high up” and referred to anything observed in the atmosphere. That term stuck through the centuries, so experts on the atmosphere became known as meteorologists. all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

What nationality is Al Roker? ›

Is Dylan Dreyer leaving NBC? ›

NBC's Weekend Today announced Saturday that meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, who has appeared on the program for nearly a decade, is leaving the weekend show to focus on her family.

Where does Al Rokers wife work? ›

Deborah Ann Roberts (born September 20, 1960) is an American television journalist for the ABC News division of the ABC broadcast television network. Perry, Georgia, U.S.

Who is Courtney Roker's real mom? ›

What's Kelly Ripa's annual salary? ›

Kelly Ripa is also an established TV host through which she earns over $5 Million each year.

Who is the highest-paid American news anchor? ›

1. Anderson Cooper Net Worth – $200 million. Anderson Cooper is the richest news anchor.

How much does Carson Daly make on voice? ›

Salary. For hosting The Voice, Carson Daly earns a salary of $5 million per year. In addition, Daly earns $5 million per year for his work on The Today Show for a total annual NBC salary of $10 million.

What is Jenna Bush salary? ›

Jenna Bush Hager Net Worth 2022: Biography Career Income
Net Worth:$15 Million
Name:Jenna Bush Hager
Salary:$1 Million +
Monthly Income:$80,000 +
Date of Birth:November 25, 1981
5 more rows
8 Sept 2022

What is Craig Melvin salary? ›

Craig Melvin's annual salary for his various duties at NBC, primarily "The Today Show," is $3 million per year.

How much does Katie Couric make a year? ›

Katie Couric Net Worth
Net Worth:$110 Million
Salary:$10 Million
Date of Birth:Jan 7, 1957 (65 years old)
Gender:Female
Height:5 ft (1.54 m)
2 more rows

How did Al Roker lose weight? ›

The legendary weatherman shared on the “Today” show that he has been reducing carbs and walking. “Exercise, and not extreme exercise, we're doing that 30-day walking challenge, that improves, I think, your mental health,” Roker said.”Combined with a low-carb diet, I've lost about 45 pounds in the last several months.

Who is Alice Bell Al Roker? ›

Alice Bell is actually Al Roker's second wife. The "Today" show staple was married once before Bell, but not much is known of this marriage since it was early on in his career. In 1984, Roker married Bell in Peekskill, New York, according to The New York Times.

Did Alice Bell have children? ›

What is Savannah Guthrie doing? ›

Savannah Clark Guthrie (born December 27, 1971) is an American broadcast journalist and attorney. She is a main co-anchor of the NBC News, morning show Today, a position she has held since July 2012.

How long has Al Roker and Deborah been married? ›

The TV star is married to his longtime wife, Deborah Roberts, and has been since 1995. The two have been hitched for over two decades, and even though they work at rival networks — Al is at NBC and Deborah is at ABC — the couple shares the most adorable love story.

Is Alice Bell married? ›

How old is Matt Lauer? ›

What is Jenna Bush salary? ›

Jenna Bush Hager Net Worth 2022: Biography Career Income
Net Worth:$15 Million
Name:Jenna Bush Hager
Salary:$1 Million +
Monthly Income:$80,000 +
Date of Birth:November 25, 1981
5 more rows
8 Sept 2022

What is Michael Strahan salary? ›

Michael Strahan's Salary

At present his estimated salary is $17 million per year.

What is Ryan Seacrest's salary? ›

In 2005, Seacrest began co-hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and once Dick Clark passed away in 2012, Seacrest took over the job, and he's been executive producing the special for a number of years as well. He reportedly earns $1 million each year for the position, Forbes reports.

How much is Robin Roberts salary? ›

Roberts is the highest-paid GMA host, raking in $18million a year. Robert's other co-anchors, Stephanopoulos and Strahan, earn $15million and $17million respectively.

What is Kelly Ripa salary? ›

Kelly Ripa is also an established TV host through which she earns over $5 Million each year. Kelly Ripa's net worth is $175 Million according to Frobes. Kelly Ripa is one of the most successful celebrities in the world. Kelly Ripa is also an established TV host through which she earns over $5 Million each year.

What is Craig Melvin salary? ›

Craig Melvin's annual salary for his various duties at NBC, primarily "The Today Show," is $3 million per year.

What is Henry hagers net worth? ›

Henry Hager is an American businessman who has a net worth of $14 million.

What is Hoda Kotb salary? ›

In 2018, Kotb replaced former Today co-host Matt Lauer, and according to Celebrity Net Worth, her starting salary was between $8 million and $10 million per year.

What is Tom Brady's overall net worth? ›

Tom Brady Net Worth
Net Worth:$250 Million
Salary:$30 Million
Date of Birth:Aug 3, 1977 (45 years old)
Gender:Male
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.93 m)
2 more rows

Who is the richest NFL player? ›

1. Deshaun Watson, $230 million
  • Deshaun Watson, $230 million. Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2026)
  • Russell Wilson (DEN), $165 million.
  • Kyler Murray (ARI), $160 million.
  • Aaron Rodgers (GB), $150.6 million.
  • Josh Allen (BUF), $150 million.
1 Sept 2022

What is Drew Carey's salary on The Price Is Right? ›

He earns $12.5 million per year hosting "The Price is Right." That's enough to make him one of 20 highest-paid TV hosts in the world.

How much does Ryan Seacrest make on Live with Kelly and Ryan? ›

When he returned for the show's reboot in 2018, Ryan began reportedly banking somewhere between $10 and $15 million. It wasn't until 2017 when Ryan landed the seat next to Kelly that boosted his yearly total earnings to $75 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

What is Kelly Ripa's net worth 2020? ›

Kelly Ripa Net Worth
Net Worth:$120 Million
Salary:$22 Million
Date of Birth:Oct 2, 1970 (52 years old)
Gender:Female
Height:5 ft 2 in (1.6 m)
2 more rows

What is Gayle King's new salary? ›

Gayle King's salary from CBS news is $11 Million per year.
...
Gayle King Salary.
YearSalary
2020$7 Million USD
2019$6 Million USD
2018$5 Million USD
2 more rows
11 Jul 2022

What is Rachel Maddow's annual salary? ›

Maddow would conceive the projects and NBC would get first right of refusal. The Rachel Maddow Show would eventually go weekly and she would continue to do specials for the network, but she would have a lot more flexibility. It was the Daily Beast that pegged her annual compensation at $30 million.

How much does Whoopi Goldberg make on the view? ›

While Joy Behar, 79, makes around $7 million a year, "Whoopi Goldberg [66] makes an astonishing $8 million," shared an insider, who also claimed Sunny Hostin, 53, and Sara Haines, 44, make $1.6 million and $1.5 million, respectively.

Videos

1. Al Roker Uncovers The Origins of Bagels and Lox in New York City
(TODAY)
2. Al Roker Reveals He's Been Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer | TODAY
(TODAY)
3. Al Roker Takes Part In First-Of-Its-Kind Aspen Climate Event In Miami
(TODAY)
4. Al Roker Gets Hit by a Heat Wave of Spicy Wings | Hot Ones
(First We Feast)
5. Paul McCartney Talks Hits And History With Al Roker | TODAY
(TODAY)
6. Al Roker Gets COVID-19 Vaccination Live On TODAY | TODAY
(TODAY)

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