Daytime Emmy award-winning American journalist Katie Couric is well-known as a result of her long-running association with the NBC top-rated morning show “Today.” She became the show's first national correspondent in 1990 and was hired as the co-anchor the following year, a gig she held for the next fifteen years until 2006. Since joining NBC News in 1989, Couric has interviewed various world leaders, national political personalities, authors, actors and pop cultures icons and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2004 for her work in the annual telecast of “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.” After leaving the program, the recipient of TV Guide's “News Person of the Year” (2001) joined the “CBS Evening News” as the anchor and managing editor. She is also known as a regular contributor for “Dateline NBC” and has made cameo appearances in the film “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and the NBC TV series “Will & Grace” (both in 2002). She is also the voice of Katie Current in the 2004 animated feature “Shark Tale.”
Outside the limelight, Couric is the single mother of two girls, Ellie and Caroline. Her husband of nine years, Jay Monahan, passed away in 1998 of colon cancer. Since then, Couric has been a spokesperson for colon cancer awareness. In 2001, she was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody award for her series “Confronting Colon Cancer,” which aired on “Today” in March 2000. Also in March 2000, she co-founded the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA). Couric also actively supported the National Hockey League's Hockey Fights Cancer campaign by appearing in several public service announcements and doing voice-overs for several others. Currently, she is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States.
As for her romantic life, Couric, who was named one of People Magazine's “25 Most Intriguing People of 2001,” has dated several men since the death of her husband. From late 1999 to early 2000, she reportedly briefly dated Carroll Lesesne and was later linked to multi-millionaire TV producer Tom Werner. She next found love in smooth jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, but they split up in February 2005. After dating Jimmy Reyes in 2006, Couric was rumored to be in a relationship with Brooks Perlin as of April 2007.
Delta Delta Delta Sorority
Childhood and Family:
Katherine Anne Couric, professionally known as Katie Couric, was born on January 7, 1957, in Arlington, Virginia. Her father, John Martin Couric, Jr., was a journalist at “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution” and the “United Press” in Washington, D.C., and her mother, Elinor Tullie, was a part-time writer and homemaker. She and her three siblings, Clara Couric Batchelor, Emily Couric and John M Couric Jr., were raised Episcopalian although their mother was Jewish. Katie was educated in Arlington in Virginia public schools. Upon high school graduation in 1975, she attended the University of Virginia and graduated with honors in 1979 with a degree in American Studies. At UVA, she became a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and was active in the university's award-winning daily newspaper, “The Cavalier Daily.”
Katie married Jay Monahan, who served as a legal analyst for MSNBC, on January 24, 1989. She gave birth to her first child, daughter Elinor Tully “Ellie” Monahan, on July 23, 1991, after which she took some time off from “The Today Show.” Her second daughter, Caroline Couric Monahan was born on January 5, 1996. A tragedy struck when her husband died in 1998 of colon cancer at age 42. This led Katie to raise awareness of and promote testing and new medical research for the disease. Katie is the seventh cousin of Lance Armstrong, Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff, and the aunt of director/writer Jeff Wadlow.
Virginia-born Katie Couric started her journalism career after college in 1979 when she was recruited by the ABC News bureau in Washington, D.C. as a desk assistant. A year later, she became an assignment editor for CNN and after relocating to Atlanta, was appointed as an associate producer and later became a producer of a news and information program. In 1984, she emerged as the network's political correspondent for the presidential election. Later that same year, Couric decided to leave CNN to join WTVJ in Miami, in which she served as a general assignment reporter. After three years, in 1987, she moved to WRC-TV, the NBC Washington affiliate station, with which she would stay as a reporter until 1989. It was with WRC-TV that Couric scored an Emmy and an Associated Press Award for her work.
Couric was invited to join NBC's national news team as their deputy Pentagon correspondent in 1989. She became a national correspondent for “Today” in 1990 and was signed as the co-anchor in April of 1991, replacing Deborah Norville who left the then-slacking morning news and entertainment show to take care of her new baby. Thanks to her warmth and down-to-earth consciousness, Couric made herself a good fit with the rest of the team and played a significant part in bringing the “Today” show back to No. 1 in the ratings. Soon after, she became one of the rising stars of NBC news. Starting with such jobs as hosting the annual telecast of the “Macy's Thanksgiving Parade” (1991), she was finally given heavier responsibilities, including co-hosting “Now With Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric” (NBC, 1993-1994). Although the show quickly left the airwaves due to the low ratings, she subsequently joined “Dateline NBC,” another primetime newsmagazine, as a contributing editor and hosted several special programs, including 1995's “Everybody's Business: America's Children.”
With the addition of news anchor Matt Lauer in 1997, “Today” had the most successful morning team but when Couric's popularity was on the rise, she had to deal with personal tragedy following the death of her husband, lawyer and NBC legal analyst Jay Monahan, in 1998. After spending a month in grief, she returned in front of the camera and wore his wedding ring on a chain around her neck.
1999 saw Couric cover the shooting disturbance at Columbine High School. This experience led Couric to write “The Brand New Kid,” a book for young children about a boy who is teased and banned for being the new kid at school. When Couric went on to increase awareness and funds for colon cancer, she once again was forced to experience personal tragedy. Her sister, Virginia State Senator Emily Couric passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2001. In spite of the sad event, the newswoman continued to receive well-merited praise for her work on “Today,” especially dealing with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. She won a 2001 TV Guide for “News Person of the Year” and then in 2004, she picked up a Daytime Emmy in the category of Outstanding Special Class Special for her work in 2003's “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.” Apart from her regular gigs on NBC, Couric also made appearances in a few external projects. She guest starred as herself in a 2002 episode of the NBC hit sitcom “Will & Grace,” had a cameo role as a prison guard in the motion picture “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (also 2002) and provided the voice of reporter Katie Current in the animated film “Shark Tale” (2004).
In the 15th anniversary of her first day as host of “Today,” on April 2, 2006, Couric announced she would leave the show at the end of May for the anchor chair on the “CBS Evening News,” a spot left by long-time newsman Dan Rather in 2004 and temporarily filled by journalist Bob Schieffer. Audience reactions were mixed over Couric's decision. Some felt her “Today” tenure was an unsuitable experience for such a coveted position, while her followers backed her up by stating she had covered a number of newsworthy events and interviewed presidents, world leaders and other leading newsmakers. Despite the controversy, Couric became the first solo female anchor on the evening newscast. She made her debut as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” on September 5, 2006, which received mixed reviews.
More recently, in 2007, Couric hosted the CBS news “Flashpoint.” It is a story of CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier and her two colleagues who were following a military unit in Baghdad. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killed two crew members and nearly took her life in May 2006.
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Special Class Special, “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,” 2004
TV Guide: News Person of the Year, 2001