1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://talkshows.about.com/od/TheKatieCouricShow/a/Katie-Couric-Biography.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Katie Couric Biography

A snapshot of the career of America's Sweetheart

By

New talk show host Katie Couric

New talk show host Katie Couric

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Born on Jan. 7, 1957, in Arlington, Va., Katherine Anne Couric grew up in a family already immersed in news and communications. Her father was a public relations executive and was once an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in Atlanta. Her mother managed the home and was a part-time professional writer.

In high school, Couric cheered on the football team as a cheerleader and interned in news radio. In college, at the University of Virginia, Couric worked on the school newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. She graduated with a degree in English.

Her first news job was with ABC News in Washington, D.C., in 1979. Before joining NBC in 1987 through the Washington affiliate, Couric reported the news at CNN and in Miami, Fla. She moved up the big leagues at NBC in 1989 as deputy Pentagon correspondent.

And it wasn't long before Couric was sitting on The Today Show couch as substitute anchor or co-host for any number of the famous names who graced the Today Show studio, including Jane Pauley, Bryant Gumbel, Maria Shriver and Faith Daniels. When Deborah Norville left on maternity leave in 1991 - and never came back - Couric took the seat as permanent co-host with Bryant Gumbel, and never looked back.

Until 2006, that is. After an unprecedented 15-year run on Today, most of it alongside co-anchor Matt Lauer, Couric announced that she was leaving the No. 1 rated morning news/talk show to become the first female to anchor a nightly network newscast without a co-anchor.

On Sept. 5, 2006, Couric made her first broadcast on the CBS Evening News and was, at the time, the highest paid news anchor on television. CBS hoped Couric would increasing ratings for its nightly news cast and chase both ABC and NBC - second and first, respectively, by wide margins - the gamble never really paid off. Couric bettered the ratings of the previous anchor, but was never able to catch the other two networks.

Couric stayed with CBS for five years, announcing her departure in April 2011. Her final broadcast was on May 19, 2011.

Less than a month later, Couric announced that she would launch a daytime talk show. She'll also join ABC News, though what her role will be with that organization is undefined.[28]

Fun Facts

  • Her mother is Jewish, though Couric was raised Episcopalian.
  • Is widowed. Her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998. The couple have two daughters.
  • Famously underwent a live televised colonoscopy to help bring awareness to colon cancer.
  • She was the first female to anchor a nightly network newscast on her own. In December 2009, Diane Sawyer became the second when she began anchoring ABC's newscast.
  • Couric was in the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
  • She was a contributing anchor on Dateline NBC, the precursor of which was named Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric.
  • Was a regular fill-in on the NBC Nightly News.
  • Co-hosted the Olympic Games with Bob Costas and annually co-hosted the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a co-host on Today.
  • Famous interviews include: Presidents Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Michael J. Fox, Glenn Beck, Justin Bieber, Daniel Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling.
  • Famously interviewed Sarah Palin when she was a vice-presidential candidate in 2008. The interview proved to be a turning point for Palin, as it did not showcase the candidate's best. It is also considered to be the interview off which comedian Tina Fey based her impression of Palin.
  • Awards include the Peabody Award Couric and the 2008 and 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast.
  • Was once called "America's Sweetheart."
  • Guest-hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2003 and garnered 45 percent more viewers than normal.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.