Behind Tom Brokaw, a seasoned journalist who has devoted more than fifty years of his life to television, hides his beloved wife of many years. Their long-term marriage hasn’t been smooth sailing after disappointments and illness, but these two have emerged unscathed. Instead, their love deepened.
Tom Brokaw, a South Dakota native famous for his “Nightly News” anchor chops, retired from television last year, but not without establishing a lasting legacy. Although the 82-year-old no longer works as a journalist, he continues to reach out by writing articles and books.
Tom Brokaw has always possessed an endearing charisma from his youth. As a young boy, he loved to express himself and was often encouraged by his teachers to show his talent in the open.
Tom Brokaw at the World Premiere of ‘Five Came Back’ at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on March 27, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
At age 5 he started speaking in public and by age 12 he was already famous in his state. When he moved to Yankton at age 15, he met the woman who later became his wife. Brokaw was elected class president and Meredith Auld served as vice president.
Brokaw was a ladies’ man, and with the resemblance to women came his love for wine. However, he became more than a friend to Auld, who initially felt disappointed despite her strategies to get him to leave. She says:
“I felt really let down by him…It was clear to me that this guy was going nowhere.”
Fortunately, Brokaw listened to his mentor’s advice. He dropped out of college for a time, which helped him refocus, making him more attractive to Auld, who agreed to marry him.
TOM BROKAW’S LIFE AS A FAMILY MAN
Tom Brokaw speaks onstage at the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards | Source: Getty Images
Once Brokaw became a married man, he wasted no time expanding his family with three beautiful babies. The journalist and his wife welcomed three daughters.
Along with becoming parents, the duo have had huge successes in their careers. Brokaw’s fame as a one-of-a-kind host grew while his wife taught English to international students.
Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld attend Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw and Gordon “Nick” Mueller receive the Legion of Honor Medal at the Palais de la Legion d’Honneur in Paris on May 19, 2016 | Source: Getty Images
These two were a force to be reckoned with, and along the line, their work paved the way for a luxury lifestyle. Yet they wanted their daughters to have a normal childhood.
After her work as co-anchor of the “Today” show, Brokaw and her family moved to a bigger house in New York, and their daughters began attending private school.
Tom Brokaw visiting SiriusXM Studio on May 9, 2016 | Source: Getty Images
Regardless of the change, the couple maintained their values, instilling their middle-class roots in their children. According to them, they didn’t want children to grow up “thinking that they are somehow better than the rest of society”.
Although many wondered if it would ever be possible, the South Dakota native and his wife struggled to live an ordinary life. Brokaw once admitted that after telling a colleague that his daughters attended UC Berkeley and Stanford University, the person said:
“It’s like having a child in the Grateful Dead and another in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”
Eventually, Brokaw turned out to be superhuman, having the perfect family – a successful marriage, growing his three daughters into incredible adults, and having five grandchildren.
BROKAW AND AULD BUILT A HAPPY FAMILY BUT HAVE BEEN THROUGH HARD TIMES
NBC Anchor and Author Tom Brokaw Speaks at the Inaugural Gala of American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times | Source: Getty Images
Now the couple can easily smile as they look back on their past struggles. But once upon a time, it was overwhelming. In 2013, the retired journalist was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
Although it is treatable, it has been called an incurable disease. After the diagnosis, her doctors opened up about the dangers of the disease, explaining how many famous people had died from it.
Tom Brokaw and wife Meredith Lynn Auld at the 2004 Riverkeeper Benefit Dinner at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 in New York, New York | Source: Getty Images
It was too much for Brokaw to bear, as he had only had a perfect life, including the good job and the good family. Fortunately, he responded well to treatment and is in remission thanks to the immense support of his family. In his words:
“Cancer treatment is a family cause. My family is not only attractive…but they’re really smart and they’re very, very compassionate. They’re all involved in one way or another.”
Understanding how journalism works, Brokaw was determined not to make headlines as having an irremediable illness. Deep down, he didn’t want to be treated with pity.
Meredith Lynn Auld and Tom Brokow attend JUDY LICHT and JERRY DELLA FEMINA Host GENIUS ON THE EDGE Book Party at Private Residence on February 8, 2010 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
His wife was his rock throughout this period, always by his side to show him her support and was ready to listen to his grievances.
This fueled Brokaw with a healthy mindset and his body responded positively to the treatment. Breaking the news to fans, the former reporter sounded optimistic, saying he was “the luckiest guy” he knows.
THE LIFE OF THE COUPLE AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS
Tom Brokaw and Meredith Lynn Auld attend STAND UP FOR HEROES, an evening of comedy to benefit the BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION at City Hall on November 5, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
In 2014, Brokaw surprised fans with the exciting news that his cancer was in remission, adding that being consistent with his medication would curb the disease.
Even though the illness came unexpectedly, Brokaw and his family stood up for it by sticking together. After more than five decades as a couple, the retired journalist admitted the experience had affected their relationship. According to him:
“[Meredith and I] have been married for a long time. This cancer experience only deepened my admiration for her. It’s hard for me to say that I love him more.”
Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld attend the Men’s Semi-Finals on Day 12 of the 2018 US Open Tennis on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2018 in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York City | Source: Getty Images
The father-of-three explained that although they cared about each other from the start of their marriage, it intensified following his health issue.
Having spent over fifty years as a journalist, Brokaw decided it was time to retire and enjoy the rest of his years with those who truly cared about him.
Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld during day nine of the 2009 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2009 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Working on television was ruled out, as the father of three prioritized family time. However, he is still actively writing. Brokaw’s life shows that fame alone is not enough to cause the loss of what is dear to him, especially if he is valued.
At 82, he remains one of the best journalists to have worked on the NBC network as a presenter and director. Without a doubt, in addition to being an exemplary family man, he has shown distinction in his career, which makes it almost impossible to fill his shoes.