The Phases of Al Roker’s Career Pursuits, His Health Issues and Family Life

Al Roker has been described as “America’s favorite meteorologist” and the reason is not farfetched. In an illustrious career spanning four decades, the Queens native has reliably delivered the weather outlook and covered extreme weather situations to about 30 million viewers each morning. He has also set the world record for the longest uninterrupted live weather report and has received multiple Emmy awards for his efforts. Away from meteorology, the tireless Roker is a bestselling author and has made cameo appearances in several popular TV series. He has also hosted several game shows including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Roker has certainly achieved a lot in the course of his distinguished career and his achievements are made even more impressive by the several health challenges he has had to deal with over the years. Many people, therefore, seek to know the secret to his success and he has revealed that it includes getting up an hour earlier before anyone else; learning from people around him; not stressing about being the top dog, and always keeping an open mind about opportunities.

Al Roker’s Meteorology Career Has Been Decorated With At Least 5 Emmys

As a young boy growing up in Queens, New York City, Albert Lincoln Roker Jr did not aspire to be a weatherman. Rather, he loved cartoons and wanted to be a cartoonist. He, therefore, became an active member of his school’s cartooning and illustration club without knowing that fate had other things in plans for him.

Al Roker commenced his career in 1974, working as a weather anchor for WTVH-TV in Syracuse, New York. The job lasted for two years before he took other weather-casting positions in Washington D.C. (WTTG) and Cleveland (WYKC-TV). Roker spent five years at the NBC-affiliated WKYC-TV during which the head honchos took notice of his charisma and endearing personality. They, therefore, promoted him to NBC, New York, in 1983.

Since going national, Roker has progressed from weekend weatherman to the weeknight slot. He is also the standby forecaster for the popular NBC show, Today, and has equally been promoted to co-host a segment of the Today Show known as 3rd Hour Today. In this role, Roker gets to travel frequently.

Roker’s stay at NBC has been highly successful and has fetched him several awards including the Daytime Emmy award for the outstanding special class program (1997-2000, 2009), the Daytime Emmy Award for excellence in morning programming (2007), and Daytime Emmy for outstanding morning program (2020).

Roker Has Has A Number of Best-selling Mystery Novels and Non-fiction Under His Belt

Al Roker
Roker with his 2020 memoir Image Source

Al Roker is also a bestselling author and this fact has amazed many who wonder how he finds time from his busy schedule to pen a book. The Queens native has revealed that it involves getting up an hour earlier each day and using that quiet time to chip away at his manuscripts.

Such remarkable dedication has helped Roker co-author a series of mystery novels with a writer, Dick Lochte. They are The Morning Show Murders (2009), The Midnight Show Murders (2010), and The Talk Show Murders (2011). The series has been hugely successful. Apart from being bestsellers, Midnight has been nominated for the Nero award for best mystery while Morning was made into a TV movie in 2018.

Asides mysteries, Al Roker has also penned several non-fiction books that chronicle his life, weight loss battle, fatherhood as well as his family experiences. Some of them are Don’t Make Me Stop This Car! Reflections On Fatherhood (2000), Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times (2016), and You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success (2020).

The Meteorologist has lent his voice to the Sharknado Franchise and appeared in Broadway

Al Roker is truly multi-talented and one fact that proves this is his acting work. The renowned meteorologist has supplied his voice for several animations including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Madagascar: Escape to Africa, Kung Fu Panda 3, and The Simpsons. Roker has similarly appeared in several movies and TV shows including Zombieland: Double Tap, The Sharknado franchise, 30 Rock, Ghostbusters, Unaccompanied Minors, Will & Grace, Men In Black, and Seinfeld.

In 2018, Al Roker dialed things up a notch by making his Broadway debut in a musical titled Waitress. The musical follows Jenna, a pregnant waitress and baker who is caught up between an abusive husband and the doctor she is having an affair with. The lady later enters a pie-baking contest with the hopes of winning the grand prize. Waitress was based on a 2007 film of the same name and Roker played Jenna’s gruff diner boss named Joe. He portrayed the role during the play’s six-week run on Broadway, between October to November, and had to sing the song, Take It From an Old Man.

Al Roker
With his Today Show co-hosts Image Source

Roker Has Taken-Up A Handful of Hosting Duties

Roker is a consummate TV personality and this is not just because of his metrology work. The Queens native has also hosted several game shows including Celerity Family Feud, Remember This?, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Additionally, Roker has hosted a few shows on the Food Network including Roker on the Road. The series involves the meteorologist exploring his love for food by traveling across America and sampling the nation’s delicacies. Roker on the Road featured several interesting episodes including a Russian immigrant who serves gourmet meals at his hockey rink snack stand, a men-only gourmet cooking club, and a food blogger who reviews just potato chips.

Al Roker Production Inc. Has Contributed To His Staggering Wealth

Roker has a net worth estimated at $30 million and his significant fortune does not come as a surprise given the diversity of his professional pursuits. Asides weather forecasting, acting, hosting gigs as well as writing, the weatherman is also the founder of a thriving multimedia company known as Al Roker Production Inc. The company has produced several successful projects, including the acclaimed PBS special, Savage Skies, which has been largely lucrative.

Roker Is Married to an Equally Accomplished Journalist, Deborah Roberts 

Al Roker is happily married to an award-winning TV reporter named Deborah Roberts. Roberts is an alumnus of the University of Georgia and commenced her career as a general assignment reporter for WTVM-TV Columbus, Georgia, in 1982. She subsequently went on to work for a bunch of local affiliates before joining NBC News in 1990. Roberts spent about five years with NBC during which she covered the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War as well as the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona.

She then joined ABC in 1995 and has remained there ever since. During this time, Roker’s wife has contributed reports to various ABC news programs such as 20/20, Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and Nightline. She has also served as a substitute anchor on some of these shows as well. Deborah’s time at ABC has fetched her the Clarion Award, for her investigative report on abuse in the Amish community. She won an Emmy for her coverage of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration.

Al Roker
Image Source

Al Roker first met his wife in 1990 when she joined NBC as a general assignment reporter. They became fast friends and kept in touch even after she was transferred out of New York. The pair eventually reconnected when Roberts came back to the Big Apple in 1992. They then commenced a romantic relationship and got engaged on New Year’s Day 1994. The couple, thereafter, tied the knot at the St Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, on the 16th of September 1995.

Since tying the knot, Roker and his wife have maintained an enviable married life. Even though their interests vastly differ (they don’t have the same taste in food, music, or theater events), they have been able to make their union work due to the love and mutual respect they have for each other. Roker also makes sure to listen to his wife as much as possible and this has helped her cope with the disappointment of having to scale back her career in order to be home with the kids.

One of His Children is a Budding Social Activist While The Other is a Professional Chef

Al Rocker has a total of three children. His first child is his daughter, Courtney (b. 1987), whom he adopted during his first marriage to a fellow journalist, Alice Bell (the union lasted from 1984 to 1994). Together with his current wife, Roberts, has two kids – a daughter named Leila (b. 1998), and a son, Nicholas Albert (b. 2002). Nicholas has special needs and therefore requires professional help. He has a long-time occupational therapist, Lori Rothman, whom Roker has described as a godsend as she has helped him to live a life that is as normal as possible.

Leila is following her father’s footsteps into journalism. She attended the American University of Paris, she is a social media coordinator as well as a freelance journalist who focuses on politics and fashion. Leila has worked for networks such as ABC and NBC. She has also penned articles for WWD. The young lady is also a budding activist and has lent her voice to the fight against racial injustice in the U.S.

Roker’s eldest child, Courtney is a professional chef as well as a recipe developer and is engaged to be married to her boyfriend, a DJ, and Theater teacher named Wesley. She and Wesley announced their engagement amidst the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. The proposal was a Paris-themed affair and the two lovebirds proudly took to Instagram to share their happy news. The post attracted lots of positive reactions including one from Roker who stated that he couldn’t be more thrilled for the two young persons.

Al Roker
The meteorologist with wife, Deborah, and children Image Source

Roker Has Undergone Several Replacement Surgeries

As earlier stated, one of the things that makes Al Roker’s career quite remarkable is the health challenges he has had to surmount in order to keep on working. The meteorologist has battled weight issues and pains in different parts of the body over the years. This has caused him to resort to several surgeries but he quickly bounces back to work and carries on like he never left.

Roker first went under the knife in 2001 in order to replace his left knee which was troubling him. The surgery was successful but five years later, he returned to the theaters again in order to deal with a back pain that wouldn’t just go away. Following the back surgery, the meteorologist was able to maintain a clean bill of health for a little over a decade. He however experienced flare-ups in his right knee in 2016 and underwent surgery to entirely replace it that same year.

In October 2018, Roker started experiencing pains in his thumb whilst preparing for his Broadway debut. The situation eventually deteriorated to the point that he lost the use of the thumb and had to resort to an emergence carpal tunnel surgery. The meteorologist spent just hours in recovery and by the next day was back on-air as well as rehearsing for Broadway. Nearly a year after the carpal tunnel surgery, Roker started experiencing twinges in his left hip, and before long, the pain spread to his back. He consulted his doctors and was informed that he had a common form of arthritis known as osteoarthritis.

He, therefore, underwent a hip replacement surgery on the 18th of September 2019 in order to deal with the problem. It has been nearly a year since the hip replacement and Al Roker is having another replacement, this time in his right shoulder. The surgery is meant to help him deal with a common arthritis pain, which causes intense pain, especially at night. The pain was so bad that the meteorologist couldn’t sleep well at night. He, therefore, had no choice but to resort to surgery in August 2020. This was to help him alleviate general arthritic nerve stress as well as severe joint pain.

To deal with his Weight Issues, he underwent a gastric bypass surgery

Al Roker
Image Source

The meteorologist has had a well-documented struggle with weight issues for most of his life. As a child, Roker grew up on a middle-income diet that was heavy on carbs and soon developed a portly body. He continued his unhealthy eating habits into adulthood and at one point, weighed 154 kg. His weight nearly caused problems in his marriage as his wife’s frequent encouragement to get him to hit the gym fell on deaf ears. Roker finally decided to turn his life around after a deathbed promise he made to his dad in 2001.

He underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and lost more than 45 kg. Since then, the TV personality has maintained his weight through a healthy diet consisting of whole unprocessed foods that are high in protein and low in carbs. He also maintains an exercise regimen that includes the high-intensity ‘The High-Low Method.’ Roker has chronicled his weight loss journey in a bestselling book titled Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good.

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