Matt Lauer is the famous name associated with a popular morning TV show in the US. He pursued a major in Communications but dropped out just as he was on the verge of finishing the course, and opted for a journalism internship. He quickly built up an impressive and diverse resume as he became an on-air reporter, travelled extensively, hosted talk-shows and worked for numerous news magazines. He endured a difficult phase during which he struggled to find work, but bounced back by getting cast as the host of the talk show ‘9 Broadcast Plaza’. His growing popularity enabled him to work in shows on NBC, which was a turning point in his already-impressive career. His association with NBC turned out to be long and productive as he continues to work with the channel till today. As the co-anchor for ‘The Today Show’, a morning show in the US, he has conducted several high-profile interviews, including those of then-US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also hosted other short-term shows intermittently, displaying his virtuosity. His prominence and mass-appeal was underlined after he signed a contract worth a whopping $25 million per year which also cemented his reputation as among the most popular TV figures.
Childhood & Early Life
Matt Lauer was born In New York to Jay Robert Lauer and Marilyn Kolmer and spent his childhood in Greenwich, Connecticut. His father was an executive in a bicycle company and his mother owned a boutique. His parents divorced when he was very young.
He enrolled at ‘Ohio University’s School of Telecommunications’ but dropped out in 1979 and accepted an internship in journalism at ‘WOWK-TV’ in West Virginia. He started off as a producer of the feature ‘12 o’clock news’ and by the following year, he was assigned as an on-air reporter.
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Over the next few years, he travelled extensively in the East Coast, hosting talk-shows and working for news magazines. He returned to New York in 1984 to work as a host for ‘WNEW-TV’.
In 1986, he co-hosted the ‘WNYW-TV’ show ‘Made In New York’ which was broadcasted for fifteen weeks. He also co-hosted ‘Fame, Fortune and Romance’. Two years later, he hosted the show ‘Talk of the Town’.
In 1989, he gained popularity while hosting the live talk show ‘9 Broadcast Plaza’, which was aired for two years. The same year, he hosted the ‘Esquire Show’ on Lifetime.
In 1992, he was chosen to co-host ‘Today in New York’ for NBC. The next year, he became co-host of another NBC show, ‘Live at Five’. During this period, he replaced Margaret Larson in ‘The Today Show’ for a short time and was later made the regular host, a role he plays till today.
In 1997, Lauer started serving as a contributing anchor for the reality legal show ‘Dateline NBC’ and continues to be involved in the show till today.
In 1998, a segment called ‘Where in the World is Matt Lauer?’ began as part of ‘The Today Show’. This segment shows Lauer in various locations across the world and as he talks about the importance of each place. As a part of this segment, Lauer has been to numerous locations such as Bhutan, Easter Island, the Panama Canal, Iran, Hong Kong, Croatia, etc.
In 2001, Lauer and co-host Couric reported the New York terrorist attacks of September 11. Even as the reports were appalling and shocking, the pair remained composed through the day.
Lauer kept hosting many other shows such as ‘The Greatest American’ for ‘Discovery Channel’, ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’ for NBC and ‘Sesame Beginnings: Exploring Together’, which he co-hosted with his daughter.
He co-hosted the opening ceremonies of the ‘Summer Olympics’ twice and the ‘Winter Olympics’ once and also participated in the ‘Olympic Torch Relay’ and carried the torch in Burnaby, British Columbia. He also filled-in for the sixth day of ‘2014 Winter Olympics’.
Lauer has been a co-host of the daily morning show ‘The Today’ on NBC since 1997. The show has consistently enjoyed good viewership over the years and continues to do so. Lauer’s importance to the show was highlighted by his new contract with NBC News in 2012 which entitles him to $25 million per year.
Awards & Achievements
In 1999, Lauer, along with the rest of the team of ‘Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade’ won a ‘Daytime Emmy’ in the category ‘Outstanding Special Class Program’
The entire team of ‘Today’, including Lauer, won a ‘Daytime Emmy’ in 2007 for ‘Excellence in Morning Programming’.
In 2008, he was inducted into the ‘Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Matt Lauer married TV producer Nancy Alspaugh in 1981. The marriage lasted for seven years and ended in divorce.
He entered into a relationship with anchor Kristen Gesswein in 1989 and the couple dated for seven years.
He married the Dutch model Annette Roque in 1998 and had three children with her. The couple separated briefly and Roque filed for divorce, but eventually resolved their differences.
This famous TV Show host dropped out of ‘Ohio University’ when he needed just four more credits to complete his graduation. However, after he attained fame, the University conferred the degree to him.