Jennifer Marie Brown has been married to CNN anchor Jake Tapper for more than a decade. They have two children together.
Tapper is the network’s chief Washington correspondent and hosts the Sunday political program State of the Union. Politics actually brought him and his wife together. They met during the 2004 Iowa caucuses.
Brown tends to keep a low profile despite her husband’s job in the spotlight.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Jennifer Marie Brown Grew Up in Missouri
Jennifer Marie Brown was born in January of 1977 to parents Thomas and Linda Brown. She was raised in Platte City, Missouri.
Brown’s father owned and operated a general merchandise store called US 1 Dollar in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Brown’s wedding announcement in the New York Times. Her mother worked for Southwest Airlines as a customer service supervisor at the Kansas City International Airport. Oprah Magazine reported that Brown’s parents are now retired.
Brown stayed close to home for college, graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
2. Jake Tapper & Jennifer Marie Brown Met in 2004 During the Iowa Caucuses
Jake Tapper was working for ABC News during the 2004 election and was sent to Des Moines, Iowa, to cover the Democratic primary caucuses.
He recalled in a 2016 interview with Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (he was a member of the class of 1991) that he first noticed Jennifer Marie Brown while he was traveling for work. He explained that the night John Kerry won the primary, Tapper and his producer went to the hotel where the campaign had set up its Iowa headquarters, the Hotel Fort Des Moines.
Tapper said they walked into the bar and he saw Brown sitting there. “I saw her and I walked up to her and we went out the next day in D.C. and that was it.” When asked if it had been an A-plus date, Tapper responded, “It was for me. It was worth a second date for her is all I can say.”
But Tapper was clearly underestimating himself in that regard. Brown told Home & Design magazine after they were married that she also felt confident that the relationship had potential very quickly. “After that first dinner with him, I knew something was going to happen.”
Their daughter, Alice Paul Tapper, explained her mother actually came up with her name during that first date with Jake, in an op-ed for the New York Times (more on that below). Alice wrote, “On their first date, when my mom found out that my dad’s middle name was Paul, she instantly knew that if she married my dad and had a baby girl she would call me Alice Paul. Alice Paul was one of the women who led the movement for women to have the right to vote. Having Alice Paul’s name makes me feel special. For women to be equal to men, we have to fight for it.”
3. Tapper & Brown Got Married Near Her Hometown in 2006
Jennifer Marie Brown and Jake Tapper got married after about two years of dating. They tied the knot near her hometown, in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 3, 2006.
The ceremony took place at the Clubhouse on Baltimore, an event space previously called the Kansas City Club. Brown described the location to Home & Design magazine: “We got married at President Truman’s old men’s club. It felt very East Coast because of the history and the politics.”
Tapper’s sister-in-law, Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, officiated the wedding.
4. Jennifer Marie Brown Previously Worked for Planned Parenthood & Is an Advocacy Consultant
At the time she met Jake Tapper, Jennifer Marie Brown was working in Washington, D.C. as a regional field manager for Planned Parenthood. Her husband told Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, in that 2016 interview referenced above, that Brown was no longer working full-time. She was working part-time at an organization called Upstream, which is dedicated to making sure all women have access to birth control.
Brown shared with Washingtonian magazine in a 2015 profile that she liked to volunteer her time with AmeriCorps, helping elementary school children learn to read. She also explained that early on in her career, she had served as a social worker and now uses that experience to influence her work as an advocacy consultant.
Brown also shared her love for Washington, D.C. “With all its passionate people trying to improve the world, and those policymakers who have the power to do so, it’s one of the reasons I love living in this town.”
5. Jennifer Marie Brown & Jake Tapper Have Two Children, One of Whom is Already a Published Author
Jennifer Marie Brown and Jake Tapper are raising two children named Alice and Jack.
Alice is already a published author. Her picture book “Raise Your Hand” was published in March of 2019 when she was only 11 years old. In the summary on Amazon, Alice explained she wanted to encourage more of the girls in her class to answer questions in school more often. She came up with the idea of creating a Girl Scout badge that participants could earn by being more confident in the classroom.
Prior to coming out with the book, Alice expressed her opinions about girls’ confidence and the new Girl Scout badge in an op-ed in the New York Times. The opinion piece came out in October of 2017 when Alice was in fifth grade. “People say girls have to be 90 percent confident before we raise our hands, but boys just raise their hands. I tell girls that we should take the risk and try anyway, just like the boys do. If the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like answering a trivia question to win a million dollars on live TV.”
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