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Natalie Leticia Morales (born June 6, 1972 in Taipei, Taiwanmarker), is a co-anchor and national correspondent for NBC's Today. Usually she replaces Meredith Vieira during the third hour of the show. Many times she fills-in for Ann Curry as news anchor.

Career

Morales was an anchor and correspondent for MSNBC from 2002-2006. She covered a number of major news stories there including the 2004 Presidential election, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greecemarker, the Iraqi prisoner abuse, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks, and the investigation and trial of Scott Peterson. Additionally, she was named one of Hispanic Magazine’s Top Trendsetters of 2003.

Prior to joining MSNBC, Morales served as a weekend anchor/reporter and morning co-anchor at WVIT-TVmarker in Hartford, CTmarker, where she reported on the Columbine shootingsmarker, Tropical Storm Floyd, the 2000 Presidential election, and the September 11, 2001 attacks. She also co-hosted and reported for the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Save Our Sound", a joint production with WNBCmarker on preserving the Long Island Soundmarker. She began her on-air career at News 12 – The Bronx as the first morning anchor. She also served as cameraman, editor and producer for that network. In 1999, she was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Latinas for her news coverage and reports by the Hispanic daily newspaper El Diario La Prensa. Previously, Morales spent two years working behind the scenes at Court TV.

Morales holds a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers Universitymarker with dual majors in journalism and Latin American studies. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Following college, she worked at Chase Bank in New York before pursuing her journalism career. In 2007, she received the "Groundbreaking Latina in Media" award from Catalina magazine and the National Association of Latina Leaders. People en Español named her one of its Fifty Most Beautiful People for 2007. She came in at #1.

Aside from her journalistic duties, Morales was the co-anchor of NBC's coverage of the Macy'smarker 4th of July fireworks spectacular.

Personal life

Morales was born in Taipei, Taiwan to a Brazilian mother, Penelope Morales, and a Puerto Rican father, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Morales Jr. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and spent the first eighteen years of her life living overseas in Panamamarker, Brazilmarker and Spainmarker as an Air Force "brat".

Morales married Joe Rhodes on August 22, 1998. They have two sons, Joseph Stockton "Josh" Rhodes & Luke Hudson Rhodes, and reside in Hoboken, New Jerseymarker. She took a four-month maternity leave from the Today Show between September and December of 2008 in order to give birth to her second son, who was born on September 9, 2008. She is an avid runner, having competed in five marathons, including three New York City Marathons. Recently, Morales began participating and competing in triathlons as well.

References

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