Meredith Auld, the wife of Tom Brokaw, has been married to the legendary NBC News anchor for more than 50 years and has three children with him. She is also a former Miss South Dakota, an author, and a toy store owner.
Brokaw, 78, was belatedly accused in April 2018 by two women of decades-old sexual harassment, both allegations he denies. Linda Vester, a former war correspondent for NBC, alleged that Brokaw “physically tried to force her to kiss him on two separate occasions, groped her in a NBC conference room and showed up at her hotel room uninvited,” Daily Variety reported.
Brokaw made an emotional statement in which he denied making overtures toward Vester. “My family and friends are stunned and supportive,” he wrote in an email to co-workers and friends. “My NBC colleagues are bewildered that Vester, who had limited success at NBC News, a modest career at Fox and a reputation as a colleague who had trouble with the truth was suddenly the keeper of the flame of journalistic integrity.” He also wrote: “I am not a perfect person. I’ve made mistakes, personally and professionally.”
Tom Brokaw and his wife married in 1962, and he’s spoken about his love for Meredith in interviews over the years. Some NBC staffers are now alleging they felt pressured to sign a letter in support of Brokaw that was signed by numerous prominent female journalists, and a third woman, Mary Reinholz, is alleging Brokaw made unwanted advances toward her years ago.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brokaw Said Cancer Deepened His ‘Awe’ of His Wife
Brokaw has lavishly praised his wife in news media interviews. One of those interviews came after Brokaw was diagnosed with cancer. In 2013, Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, although his cancer is in remission.
At the time he spoke about Auld in 2015, he had already been married to Auld for 52 years. He described to Parade Magazine how he and Meredith had been have “married a long time. This cancer experience has just deepened my awe of her. It’s hard for me to say I love her more. This has deepened our relationship. We’ve always cared about each other a lot, but I so depended on her through this.”
In an interview on The Hoda Kotb Show, Brokaw revealed when he told his wife that he had cancer. He said that he told Meredith the news at the family’s Montana ranch, and she responded clinically, asking him a series of question about what the diagnosis meant.
2. Meredith Once Wrote Brokaw a Letter That Stated He Was Going Nowhere
The Brokaw relationship has not been without its ups and downs, and he’s described previously how he went through a period in which he lacked direction. That’s obviously before he began a career in television news that propelled him onto people’s television screens throughout America as one of the country’s most recognizable journalists.
Around age 19 or 20, Brokaw recalled to Parade Magazine, he was a college dropout “hitchhiking across the Midwest,” and his listlessness concerned his parents – and Meredith Auld.
“My parents were anxious about how I was going to turn out. But I look back and see that was the Brokaw luck because I learned a big, painful lesson about how easy it is to fail,” he told the magazine. “It also brought Meredith and me together because she wrote me the hardest possible letter you can imagine, about ‘you’re going nowhere and I never want to see you again and nobody can understand what the hell is going on with you.’ That was a wake-up call.”
3. Meredith & Tom Brokaw Have Three Daughters Together & Are Also Grandparents
Tom Brokaw and his wife built a family together, and she is the mother of his three children, all daughters. According to Biography.com, “the couple has three daughters, Jennifer, Andrea and Sarah.”
Jennifer Brokaw has worked as an emergency room physician in San Francisco who has helped her father during his battle with cancer, The Today Show reported.
“If you have cancer, in a way your whole family gets cancer because they’re involved in it,” he said to Today. He told Today that Jennifer “was invaluable to me because she knew what questions to ask, what research to look for, how to get on the phone with me.”
Jennifer has her own website, which reads, “Dr. Jennifer Brokaw worked for fourteen years as a board-certified emergency physician before founding Good Medicine, a private medical consulting and advocacy practice in San Francisco.”
Sarah Brokaw is “a Los Angeles-based licensed therapist and the New York Times bestselling author of Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life — through the 40’s, 50’s and Beyond,” according to The Women on the Fences website.
Her 2004 wedding announcement in The New York Times said that Andrea Brokaw was working for Warner Brothers Records as a vice president of marketing.
4. Meredith Authored a Cookbook on Cooking Out West & Once Owned a Toy Store
In 2006, Meredith Auld co-authored a cookbook titled Big Sky Cooking. The blurb with the book on Amazon.com describes how Meredith and Tom Brokaw were drawn to the vastness of Montana, where they bought a ranch.
“Meredith and Tom Brokaw could feel the attraction all the way from their home in New York City,” the blurb reads. “Native South Dakotans, they had settled into a frenetic Manhattan lifestyle, tempered by frequent visits to Montana, until Tom could no longer resist. He convinced Meredith to join him in buying a ranch north of Yellowstone.”
The book jacket continues: “Meredith, in turn, convinced her friend, passionate cook Ellen Wright, to come and discover for herself the bounty of the region—its trout, bison, and elk; locally raised poultry; native fruits and vegetables.”
According to Andrea’s wedding announcement, Meredith Auld was “vice chairwoman of Conservation International in Washington, a trustee of WNET, Channel 13, in New York, and was until 1998 the owner of Penny Whistle Toys, which operated stores in New York.”
Brokaw and his wife have a net worth of $80 million.
5. Sarah Brokaw Has Written About Her Father’s Attraction to Meredith, a Beauty Queen
In a guest blog on the site Women on the Fence, one of the Brokaws’ daughters, Sarah, wrote about her parents’ marriage. “On August 17th, 1962, Tom Brokaw and Meredith Auld wedded in Yankton, South Dakota, on the hottest day of the year,” she wrote.
“Even so, 150 of their friends and family filed into the un-air-conditioned church to witness the nuptials between my mother, the reigning Miss South Dakota, and my father, the loquacious and witty charmer.”
Many people were dazzled by her mother’s beauty, Sarah wrote: “In everyone’s eyes, it was obvious why my father would want to spend the rest of his life with my mother, the beauty queen. My mother’s beauty not only captured everyone’s eyes, but her grace attracted even the most circumspect members of the Yankton community.”
She described in the blog post how her mother proposed even though she could have had more eligible bachelors at the time and how Brokaw asked her parents’ permission. She concluded, “While I am so blessed to have observed the beautiful and indestructible bond that my parents have built over the past 49 years, I still wonder how my parents’ marriage withstood the toughest of times over the years.”
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