Long before she was news anchor on NBC's Today Show, Natalie Leticia Morales in June 1972 in Taipei, Taiwan. He mother was Brazilian and her father Puerto Rican - Penelope and Mario. Mario was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. In fact, Morales spent her entire adolescence hopping from Air Force base to base. She spent time in Panama, Brazil and Spain.
She landed in the States after her 18th birthday as an undergrad at Rutgers University. She majored in both journalism and Latin American studies. Her college career was quite a success. Morales left college Summa Cum Laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Into the Real World
Morales first job out of college was at Chase Bank - outside her hope to pursue journalism, but a job nonetheless. And one in New York City, the heart of it all, and where she first landed journalism work.
Morales became the first morning news anchor for News 12 in the Bronx, a small station where Morales had the opportunity to do a little bit of everything - camera operator, editor and producer, among other jobs.
From there, Morales joined WVIT-TV in Hartford, Conn., a much lager station in a much bigger market, where she served as a news reporter. Morales was tasked with reporting on the Columbine shootings in Colorado, Hurricane Floyd, the controversial 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and the September 11 attacks.
Moving up to MSNBC
Morales's next move was to NBC cable news station MSNBC, where she served as both an anchor and correspondent from 2002 to 2006. There she was able to dig into a number of hard news stores, including Iraqi prisoner abuse, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and the Northeast Blackout of 2003. It was enough to get her noticed by Today Show producers, who invited her to join the show as a national correspondent in 2006.
By 2008, Morales had moved from the correspondent role to the anchor desk, as co-anchor of the show's third hour. Two years later, in 2011, after Ann Curry was named co-anchor after Meredith Vieira's departure, Morales moved up to the news anchor desk, a position to holds today.
- Was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Latinas for her news reporting in the Hispanic daily newspaper El Diario La Prensa.
- She worked for two years at Court TV behind-the-scenes as a production assistant.
- Co-hosted and reported for "Save Our Sound", a documentary about preserving the Long Island Sound. The documentary was Emmy-nominated.
- Received the "Groundbreaking Latina in Media" award from Catalina magazine and the National Association of Latina Leaders in 2007
- Considered No. 1 on of People en Español's list of the "Fifty Most Beautiful People" in 2007.
- Named one of Hispanic Magazine's Top Trendsetters of 2003
- Hosted the Miss USA 2010 and Miss Universe 2010 pageants.
- Is married to Joe Rhodes. The couple has two sons.
- Lives in Hoboken, N.J.
- Is an avid runner, completing five full marathons and several triathlons.