Embattled U.S. Senator Al Franken has two children with his wife Franni Bryson. Franken met his wife while the two were at Harvard together. Their eldest child is daughter Thomasin. Like her parents, Thomasin has a degree from Harvard as well as the French Culinary Institute. Though these days, Thomasin runs charter schools in Washington D.C. That’s in addition running an organization in D.C known as D.C. Prep.
In October 2011, Thomasin married Brody Konow Greenwald, a lawyer and Duke University graduate, in Broad Run, Virginia, at a friend’s home, according to their New York Times wedding announcement. The announcement also says that Thomasin will keep her maiden name. The Franken’s also have a son named Joe Franken who works in finance.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Father Pretended to Drop Her When She Was a Baby at a Party Hosted by Gilda Radner
In a May 2017 Rolling Stone feature on her father, it’s described that at a party thrown by the late-Gilda Radner, Franken pretended to drop Thomasin while she was a baby. The article refers to the joke, which involved a “swaddled doll” standing in for Thomasin, as “borderline sadistic.”
Thomasin told People Magazine in May 2017 that her father is the same as a grandfather as he was as a dad. Thomasin talked about creating a character for his children named Stupid Daddy, Thomasin tells People, “Stupid Daddy was always doing something stupid. And he had a story about a girl whose really long hair could sneak into the the closet and feel her Christmas presents while her parents were sleeping.”
Thomasin wrote about her father in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
A lot of people think that just because my dad was on TV, we had a crazy childhood. But mostly, it was … normal. My parents put a real focus on education, and pretty much forced us to develop good study habits.
My brother and I were expected to do our homework every night, and if we didn’t, we had to answer to my parents. Well, to my mom. Dad always let her handle the “bad cop” stuff.”
2. Thomasin Lives 2 Blocks Away From Her Parents in D.C.
Senator Franken told The View in October 2016 that he and his wife were moving from their home, close to the U.S. Capitol, to be closer to his daughter. The senator said, “We’re moving two blocks away from them. I want to see them all the time. Mainly my daughter wants my wife there.”
Thomasin told People Magazine in May 2017, “He likes to joke that the kids call him Senator.”
3. Thomasin Played Herself in a Movie; Her Scene Involved Entourage Star Adrian Grenier’s Acid Trip
It says on Thomasin’s IMDb page that at age 11, her short story, The Locked Room, was published. While in 2001, Thomasin appeared in Harvard Man along with her father, Entourage’s Adrian Grenier and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The scene featuring Thomasin, who is credited a playing herself, shows her interacting with Grenier while he’s on an acid trip. The movie was written and directed by disgraced figure James Toback.
On her Facebook page, Thomasin says that she is originally from Manhattan but lived for a time in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Minneapolis. Thomasin is the director the extended learning program at D.C. Prep. Thomasin attained her Bacherlor’s from Harvard where she graduated with honors. Thomasin’s Masters in elementary education came from Mercy College in the Bronx. Thomasin went on to teach third grade in New York City for a time.
According to their wedding announcement, Thomasin’s husband, Brody, is the son of Los Angeles doctors. Brody represents New York City law firm White & Chase in D.C., according to his LinkedIn page. He is a graduate of Duke University and got his law degree at the University of Chicago. The couple has three children together, Joe, Weaver and daughter, Avery.
Thomasin was involved in her father’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2008. A 2009 feature in the New Yorker describes Thomasin as being “a dark-haired twenty-eight-year-old with her father’s deep dimples.” Thomasin is quoted in the piece as talking about the negative reaction to her father’s swearing-in speech. The criticism revolved around the lack of jokes, Thomasin says, “They criticize: ‘He’s a comedian, and it’s going to be very inappropriate if he’s funny.’ And then it’s ‘Oh, he wasn’t funny!’
In October 2008, Thomasin wrote a counterpoint op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about allegations that her father was anti-Catholic.
4. Thomasin Was Named After Al Franken’s SNL Buddy Tom Davis
According to Thomasin’s IMDb page, she was named for her father’s former Saturday Night Live writing partner, Tom Davis.
5. Her Dad Wrote That Thomasin Dated Ludacris for a While in 2003; Although it’s Unclear if He Was Joking
In a section of his 2003 book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken wrote in a section that criticized Bill O’Reilly’s boycott of Ludacris and Pepsi Cola, that his daughter dated the rapper for a time. It’s unclear if Franken was joking about this.
More recently, in August 2017, a conservative fake news site claimed that Franken’s “daughters” were arrested at the Port of New York while intercepting a shipping container from Afghanistan. The site wrote:
Senator Al Franken’s daughters, Louise and Farrah, were brought into federal court this morning by the US Marshals after being arrested by the DEA at the Port of New York. They were arrested after taking possession of a cargo container full of heroin from Afghanistan.