Jane Pauley is the host of Sunday Morning on CBS News and has been a broadcast journalist for nearly four decades. Her career included more than 13 years as a co-host of the Today show on NBC and about a decade as the co-anchor of Dateline NBC. Pauley took over as the host of Sunday Morning on October 9, 2016, as only the third anchor in the program’s history, CBS explained.
Off-camera, Pauley is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has been married to cartoonist Garry Trudeau since 1980. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jane Pauley’s Husband, Garry Trudeau, Created the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoon ‘Doonesbury’
Garry Trudeau started writing his famous cartoon strip featuring star character “BD” for the Yale Daily News in 1968 when he was a college junior, CBS News reported. As he explained to NPR in January 2021, Doonesbury was originally called Bull Tales and it included commentary on social and political issues as well as war. Trudeau told NPR that when he got started, he simply wrote about topics that interested him:
You can’t exaggerate the importance of novelty in jumpstarting a career. People were so surprised by this strip that was about sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll and politics and all the things that I was concerned about and was thinking about in college that I got cut a lot of slack.
Trudeau attracted the attention of the Universal Press Syndicate. The company approached him about printing his cartoon, which Trudeau initially rejected. But after a deal was eventually struck, Doonesbury became a national hit and was printed in nearly 2,000 newspapers at the height of its popularity. As CBS reported, the cartoon strip also faced “bans and boycotts” because of its controversial content.
Doonesbury was known for addressing social and political issues. As NPR reported, it was the first major comic strip to include gay characters. Trudeau also wrote about soldiers and the realities of war. He had strips that were based on soldiers he met during a visit to Kuwait, which was arranged by Col. William Nash, and wounded veterans he met at the then-named Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
In October 2020, to celebrate 50 years of Doonesbury, every strip ever published was compiled into a digital package called Dbury@50: The Complete Digital Doonesbury. In a news release, the publisher praised Trudeau for his “iconic, irreverent, and incomparable creation [that] has kept readers entertained––and informed––through his deft depiction of the cultural zeitgeist.”
2. Tom Brokaw Introduced Trudeau & Pauley in 1975
Pauley and Trudeau met through a mutual friend, the longtime TV journalist Tom Brokaw. He was Pauley’s co-host at NBC’s Today show during the 1970s but Brokaw was also friends with Trudeau. Brokaw introduced the pair shortly after Trudeau won the Pulitzer Prize. Pauley told Ability Magazine she met Trudeau when Brokaw and his wife hosted a dinner party. Pauley said that in hindsight, “It absolutely was a setup. And it worked!”
The spouses shared in the CBS segment that their honeymoon was delayed because of the cartoon strip. Trudeau explained, “Yeah, I had strips to finish up. And I would finish them often at the airport. It was always working around the margins of family life.” He also joked, “And you know, we won’t know, until it all comes tumbling out in therapy for our children, what kind of damage was done by my constant sneaking off to work.”
3. Daughter Rachel Is a Lawyer in New York City
— Rickie Trudeau (@RickieTrudeau) May 10, 2020
Rachel, who goes by the nickname “Rickie,” followed in her father’s footsteps by attending Yale University. She graduated in 2006 with an art history degree, according to her LinkedIn profile. But rather than pursue a media career like her parents, Rickie decided to attend law school. She earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
According to her profile on the New York State Unified Court System website, Rickie has been licensed to practice law in New York since April 2014. She currently works for Liberty Mutual Insurance as an underwriting counsel, according to her LinkedIn account.
— Rickie Trudeau (@RickieTrudeau) May 16, 2019
Rickie tied the knot with Robert Gary Steinsdoerfer in November 2014. According to the wedding announcement in the New York Times, Rickie was working at the New York law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges at the time.
Rickie and her husband also had a son in December 2015, according to her younger brother’s Instagram account.
4. Older Son Ross Trudeau Writes Crossword Puzzles
Rickie’s twin brother is Richard Ross Trudeau. According to his LinkedIn profile, Ross studied English literature at Brown University and wrote for the Brown Daily Herald. He graduated in 2006. He also pursued a Master of Fine Arts degree from Emerson College and expected to graduate in 2021.
Ross is known for writing crossword puzzles for major publications. His puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, according to his professional website. Ross also works as a writer and digital media producer for Fishtank Learning. He wrote that his job includes creating “open source education resources for teachers.”
Ross offered some insight into his childhood when he wrote an essay about his father for Fatherly Magazine in 2019. Ross described his father’s studio in their “Central Park West co-op” as a “serious place” and wrote about how his mother would send him to the studio if he did something wrong:
If I ever made a serious mistake — lied, or failed to keep my word — I might hear my mother say, “Your father would like to see you in his studio.” Punishment for fighting with my little brother or kicking my twin sister could be meted out on the spot. But lessons of character were taught in the studio.
When I was 10, dad called me into his office after I had been caught in a lie about an antique teacup I had broken and then hidden. I sat in his artist’s chair, teary and chastened and swiveling, staring at the indentations in the carpet where the wheels usually came to rest under his drawing board. “Things can be replaced, Ross. Hey, look at me.” My father fixed me with the same eyes that I have and that his father had before him: downward sloping at the temples, slightly hooded, suggesting melancholy or weariness. “We can glue this cup back together. But your reputation is more fragile and harder to fix. You only get one reputation.”
Ross included on his website that he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “with an objectively bad cat named Ruby.” His Instagram account includes multiple photos with his nephews and niece, as well as photos alongside romantic partner Jessie Bullock.
5. Thomas Trudeau Has an MBA & Worked in Sports for Several Years
Pauley and Trudeau added to their family on August 27, 1986, when she gave birth to younger son Thomas Trudeau.
According to his LinkedIn account, Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brown University in 2009. He went on to earn an MBA from Yale School of Management in 2014.
That same year, Thomas married his college sweetheart, Juliana Margaret Thorstenn. According to the wedding announcement in the New York Times, the couple was introduced at a party when they were both sophomores at Brown. He proposed during a class reunion in 2013.
At the time of their wedding, Trudeau was working for Major League Baseball Advanced Media as a manager for business development. Trudeau stayed with the MBL until April 2018, after which he took a job with the NBA. He noted on his LinkedIn account that he started working for a start-up in December 2020.