Childhood & Early Life
Deborah Anne Norville was born on August 8, 1958, in Dalton, Georgia, to a businessman father. She is one of the four daughters of her parents. Her father owns a menagerie of llamas, ostriches, and camels.
Since childhood, she had a talent for sewing, which she had inherited from her mother. Her parents later divorced, and Deborah continued to live with her mother, who was mostly bedridden because of a terminal illness. She died when Deborah was 20 years old.
Deborah was an exceptional student. She also participated in beauty pageants as a child. She won her town’s ‘Local Junior Miss Contest,’ a pageant for local high-school senior girls. In 1976, she represented her state in America’s ‘Junior Miss’ pageant.
Although she did not win the pageant, it changed her life significantly. The contest was telecast on ‘CBS.’ While participating in the contest, Deborah saw the ‘CBS’ team working hard to make the event a success. This made her attracted toward the profession of journalism.
After graduating high school, she joined the ‘University of Georgia’ to study journalism. She was an incredible student and graduated “summa cum laude” in three years. She also earned a perfect 4.0 grade point. She was also named a “First Honor Graduate” and was elected to the ‘Phi Beta Kappa.’
During her years at the university, she was a member of the ‘Delta Delta Delta Sorority.’ She also served in the ‘Main Court of the University’s Student Judiciary.’ With this excellent background in education, she was all set to have bright career in the field.
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‘Georgia Public Television’ became her first employer after she was offered an internship with the channel. She worked behind the scenes of a TV show named ‘The Lawmakers,’ which covered the ‘Georgia General Assembly.’ While working there, she was spotted by a producer who worked at ‘WAGA-TV.’
‘WAGA-TV’ operated from Atlanta, and Deborah was offered a summer internship there. They were short of reporters. Thus, Deborah got her first big break as a reporter. She reported for an evening show the day she was offered the position of a reporter. Soon, she was hired as a full-time weekend reporter. She had still not graduated and was in the final year of her college back then.
She bagged a major opportunity in 1979, when she was assigned the task of interviewing President Jimmy Carter. She was officially hired as the weekend reporter after she graduated from the university in 1979. More job offers started coming her way, and she ended up joining the ‘NBC’ station ‘WMAQ-TV’ as their reporter in Chicago. After working there for a few years, she was hired by ‘NBC News’ as an anchor.
In January 1987, she joined ‘NBC News’ as the anchor for the show ‘NBC News at Sunrise.’ At that time, she was the only solo female anchor on the show. Soon, the ratings soared. She also began anchoring ‘NBC’s most popular news program, ‘The Today Show,’ also known as ‘Today,’ occasionally.
In 1989, she hosted the ‘NBC’ documentary ‘Bad Girls,’ which was about spoiled and violated teenage girls. For the entire week, the documentary was the seventh-most-watched program on the channel.
She got another major breakthrough when she was hired as a full-time host of ‘Today’ in 1989. She started appearing on the show as a co-host in 1990. Her coverage on the steady uprising of democracy in Romania earned her an ‘Emmy Award.’
However, following Deborah’s inclusion in ‘Today,’ the show’s ratings dipped. The poor management of the channel was the main culprit behind this. In the early 1990s, Deborah took a maternity leave. She did not return to the channel.
She turned to radio instead. In 1991, she joined the ‘ABC TalkRadio Network.’ Her show, ‘The Deborah Norville Show: From Her Home to Yours,’ was broadcast from her houses in New York and Long Island. The show was significantly successful and ran for a whole year until 1992, when Deborah once again resumed her TV broadcasting career.
She joined ‘CBS News’ as a correspondent in 1992 and appeared in shows such as ‘48 Hours’ and ‘Street Stories.’ She bravely covered the Mississippi floods of 1994, for which she received the second ‘Emmy Award’ of her career.
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In 1995, she was named the solo anchor of a syndicated news magazine named ‘Inside Edition.’ The show became popular after her arrival and continues to run to date. In 2015, after completing 20 years as the anchor of the show, Deborah became the longest-running female anchor on American TV.
Deborah has also made her mark as an author. She has contributed to ‘Inside Sports.’ She released her first book, ‘Back on Track: How to Straighten Out Your Life When It Throws You a Curve,’ in 1997. It was based on her experiences of working on ‘The Today Show.’
In 2007, she wrote another book, ‘Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You.’ It was featured on ‘The New York Times Best Sellers’ list. Apart from this, she has also written a few children’s books and has dedicated one of her books entirely to the art of knitting.
In 2008, she appeared in a few infomercials and promoted a few anti-ageing creams and lotions. She collaborated with ‘Premier Yarns’ for the release of the ‘Deborah Norville Collection’ of knits and yarns.
In March 2013, she became one of the members of the board of directors of ‘Viacom Corporation.’
Family & Personal Life
In 1987, Deborah Norville got married to a successful Swedish businessman named Karl Wellner. They have three children, Niki, Kael, and Mikaela.
Deborah has suffered from depression in the past.
She loves dogs and has a Labrador as a pet.
She is known for her beauty, too. ‘Playboy’ honored her with the ‘Best Newscaster’s Lips’ title in 1987.