Al Roker is an American TV personality, meteorologist, actor, and author, who is famous for being a weather anchor on NBC News’s Today. He makes a regular appearance on NBC Nightly News.
Al Roker’s short bio
Albert Lincoln Roker, Jr. was born to a Jamaican mother, Isabel and Bahamian father, Albert Lincoln Roker, Sr., on August 20, 1954, in Queens, New York City. He was brought up in Catholic faiths.
Growing up, he aimed to be a cartoonist and served on various projects as a member of his school’s Cartooning & Illustration Club. He graduated from Xavier High School. Later, he joined the State University of New York at Oswego and completed B.A. in communications in 1976.
Al Roker’s career journey: From CBS-affiliate to NBC New’s Today
Roker started his career as a weather anchor at CBS-affiliate WHEN-TV in Syracuse, New York in 1974. He worked there for a couple of years until his graduation. Then, he moved to Washington, D.C. and worked as a weathercaster at independent station WTTG for next two years.
His career started picking up pace, when he joined a Cleveland-based NBC-affiliate WKYC-TV in 1978. After five successful years in Cleveland, he moved to his hometown to serve as a weekend weathercaster for his WNBC-TV in 1983 and was promoted to a regular weeknight weathercaster at the network after 8 months. He replaced Dr. Frank Field, who left the network due to a contract dispute.
Roker was a regular forecaster on the NBC News program NBC News at Sunrise from 1983 to 1996 and filled in Bryant Gumbel, Matt Lauer and Willard Scott on the Today show from 1990 to 1996. He hosted a weekend talk show, The Al Roker Show on CNBC in 1995.
He started getting more career exposure after he made a guest appearance on an episode of Late Night with David Letterman. That led him to earn a position of forecaster on Weekend Today. Later, he received the weekday weather position substituting Willard Scott, who left the position due to his illness.
Since he officially joined Today in 1996, he has become renowned for his popular forecasts outside the studio and interviewing audience members. He made a highlight for reporting from inside Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Roker’s talents and dedication have made him one of the highest paid meteorologists. His hefty salary helped him accumulated a whopping net worth amount.
Roker-thon series and Guinness Book of World Record
Roker broke the record of Norwegian weather broadcaster Eli Kari Gjengedal’s 33-hour-long uninterrupted live reporting in November 2014, by reporting for NBC for 34 hours non-stop and set an official Guinness Book of World Records. This event, which he has referred to as “Roker-thon”, was a fundraiser for military and USO.
He embarked on “Roker-thon 2” in November 2015, this time by reporting weather from all the states of the U.S. within one week to raise fund for Feeding America. As a part of his Roker-thon 3, he returned to SUNY Oswego, where 593 students formed the longest conga line on the ice, to set a new Guinness World Record.
An avid fan of the game show, Roker hosted a week-long segment on Today called GAME ON TODAY in July 2016. As a celebrity player, he has appeared on Merv Griffin game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. From 1996-97, he hosted a game show called Remember This? on MSNBC.
He had a 90 minute weekday morning stint live called Wake Up with Al from 5 to 7 a.m. on The Weather Channel. The show aired from 2009 to 2015. He has authored several non-fiction and cook books.
A brief account of Al Roker’s family
Al has been married to Deborah Roberts since 1996. The couple is proud parents of two children. They also parent another daughter named Courtney Roker (born 1987), whom he adopted with his first wife, Alice Bell.
Now, the happy family resides in Upper East Side.