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Albert Lincoln "Al" Roker, Jr. (born August 20, 1954) is an Americanmarker television broadcaster, best known as the weather anchor for NBC's Today show. On July 20, 2009, he began co-hosting his new morning show Wake Up with Al on The Weather Channel, which airs weekdays from 6am to 7am ET, one hour away from Today show. He holds American Meteorological Society Television Seal #238. He is the author of a new murder mystery entitled, "The Morning Show Murders" about a celebrity chef and morning tv show host drawn into international intrigue and mayhem.

Personal life

Roker was born in the New York Citymarker borough of Queensmarker, the son of Isabel and Albert Lincoln Roker, Sr., a labor relations negotiator, bus driver and dispatcher. Al is of Bahamian descent through his grandmother's side. Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. He was raised Catholic (in the faith of his mother) and graduated from Xavier High Schoolmarker in Manhattanmarker. He worked on several projects as a member of the school's Cartooning & Illustration club. He attended the State University of New York at Oswegomarker where he double majored in graphic design and broadcasting/journalism in college. Roker is a cousin of the late actress Roxie Roker, who is most notable for her role on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons, and the cousin of her son, popular rock musician Lenny Kravitz.

In 2002, in accordance with his late father's wish, Roker underwent gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, which he said he did after failing at numerous diets. Eight months after that surgery, the New York Daily News reported he dropped 100 pounds (45 kg) off his 320-pound figure. In 2005 Roker had a back operation.

His (third) wife is fellow journalist Deborah Roberts, who has reported for both ABC and NBC, meeting Roker when she joined the latter in 1990 as a reporter. They worked together on Today from 1990–1995 with Roberts filling in for Faith Daniels, Margaret Larson and Matt Lauer at the newsdesk and Roker filling in for Willard Scott as the forecaster. Roker also filled in for forecaster Joe Witte on the former NBC News program NBC News at Sunrise from 1983-1996. Roker has three children.

Career

Roker outside the Pentagon.
Before the national recognition, Roker worked as a weather anchor for CBS affiliate WHEN-TV (now WTVHmarker) in Syracuse, New Yorkmarker from 1974 until 1976, while he was still enrolled at SUNY Oswego. Following the completion of his collegiate studies, Roker moved to Washington, D.C.marker and took a weathercasting position at independent station WTTGmarker, then owned by Metromedia, remaining there for much of the next two years.

Roker's career with NBC began in 1978 when he was hired at WKYC-TVmarker in Clevelandmarker, then an NBC owned-and-operated station. After five successful years in Cleveland, Roker was promoted to the network's flagship outlet, WNBC-TVmarker in his hometown. Roker returned to New York City in late 1983 as a weekend meteorologist, and within eight months became the station's regular weeknight weathercaster. Roker replaced 27-year WNBC-TV veteran Dr. Frank Field, who left the network after a contract dispute.

In 1995, he became the host of The Al Roker Show, a weekend talk show on CNBCmarker. In 1996–1997, he hosted a game show on MSNBC called Remember This?.

Roker started getting more exposure, especially when David Letterman asked him to do an elevator race with him in one episode of his talk show Late Night with David Letterman, which taped across the hall from WNBC's news studio in the GE Buildingmarker. That led Roker to getting a job as the forecaster for Weekend Today, where he did the weather for nine years. He also substituted on the weekday edition of Today when Willard Scott was ill or away. In 1996, Scott announced his semi-retirement from the show, and Roker received the weekday weather position on Today, where he has been since. He officially joined Today on January 26, 1996. Roker became popular for doing his forecasts outside of the studio, interviewing audience members and giving some of them camera time. Roker also began doing more interviews and segments on the show as time progressed.

In 2005, Roker reported from inside Hurricane Wilma. A popular viral video exists on the internet of Roker being swept off his feet by the force of the hurricane and holding on to his cameraman.

Roker is a game show fan, and hosted a week-long segment on Today in honor of five game shows and their hosts. He also appeared as a celebrity player on both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. In 2008, Roker hosted NBC's Celebrity Family Feud. Roker also replaced Meredith Vieira for a week of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire shows on March 5-9, 2007.

Roker also hosts various programs on The Food Network, namely, Roker on the Road, and, Tricked-Out Tailgating. He is also the author of several non-fiction books, and an avid barbecue enthusiast.

Roker was also the forecaster for several radio stations, including the New York smooth jazz radio station WQCD (101.9 FM) and for Cleveland smooth jazz station WNWV (107.3 FM). The service was called the "Al Roker Radio Weather Network," it was provided by United Stations Radio Networks. He has since been replaced on those networks by Accuweather.

Controversy

On June 7, 2007, Roker referenced the logo for 2012 Summer Olympics: Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures. Well, we asked you to weigh in on our website in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in . . . The following day Roker stated, "I started joking about [the logo]. I want to make this clear — I was not joking about epilepsy or anyone who suffers from epilepsy. We understand and know that this is a serious affliction and would never joke about that. We were joking about the logo — not about epilepsy. If anybody was offended, I heartily and really humbly apologize." On July 19, 2007, Roker was scheduled to appear on the Opie & Anthony Show to talk about the incident, but at the last minute Roker cancelled.

Roker's comment came only 2 months after blasting radio personality Don Imus and insisted Imus be removed not only from the radio airwaves but also MSNBC for Imus's own controversial comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. On April 10, 2007 Roker writes on his MSNBC blog about Imus’s apology:
"The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.”.

On October 30, 2009, the Today Show featured a Star Wars themed episode. During the segment, two little persons, dressed as ewoks, (reportedly drunk) began dancing around. Controversy errupted when one made a sexual gesture towards Al Roker's leg. This was followed by another obscene gesture towards the ground occuring on live television.

Signature phrases

  • In many occasions on Today he has used the phrase "man candy" to describe attractive males.


  • At the end of his weather segments when they cut to local broadcasters for regional updates he says "That's what's going on around the country, here's what's happening in your neck of the woods," which was the same phrase Willard Scott used.


Other appearances and activities

  • Roker has done some voice acting, as both himself and a genie-like character on The Proud Family, as himself on Space Ghost Coast to Coast ("Chambraigne") promoting a brain-boosting shampoo, and thrice as intrepid reporter Sam Vander Rom in the math-mystery cartoon Cyberchase, including an episode called "The Wedding Scammer", which is a send-up of annual wedding on Today.






  • During the inaugural parade of President Barack Obama, Al Roker was able to get the "first interview" with the President by removing his Fedora hat and yelling to the walking President to come over. Acknowledging Roker, Obama continued walking along the parade route, telling him "it's warm!"


  • On February 11, 2009 Roker appeared on the Howard Stern Show as a returning guest after promoting the second Season of DEA. Previously, he had appeared to promote the first season of DEA.


  • Roker holds the record for most appearances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien".


  • Roker became an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity on August 19, 2009.




  • Roker was the voice of a weather man in the animated movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs


Charity work

In 2007, Roker became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC. He also served as the official spokesperson for Amtrak's National Train Day, which took place on May 10, 2008.

See also



References

  1. http://www.filmreference.com/film/62/Al-Roker.html
  2. Al Roker Biography, The Biography Channel. Accessed November 18, 2007. "After graduating from Xavier High School in Manhattan, Roker studied communications at State University of New York at Oswego, where he got his first shot at weathercasting."
  3. Celebrity Family Feud | Watch Episodes Online for Free - Family Feud, All American Summer & Game Shows | Celebrity Family Feud - NBC Official Site
  4. Orlando Sentinel - Al Roker to host "Celebrity Family Feud" by Hal Boedeker
  5. Al Roker Radio Weather Network at United Stations Radio Network
  6. Al Roker Hides From Opie & Anthony Confrontation, FMQB, July 19, 2007.
  7. http://www.nationaltrainday.com/events-information.


External links




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