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Tom Brokaw Was Able to Sustain Marriage of Half a Century With Wife Who Proposed to Him Herself

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 17, 2022
11:00 A.M.
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Tom Brokaw and his wife, Meredith Lynn Auld, have been together for around 59 years, and the pair are still going strong. In their relationship, the couple has had some ups and downs.

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Tom Brokaw and Meredith Lynn Auld were dating when the journalist was a college dropout aged 19 or 20 in 1959 or 1960. He was hitchhiking across the Midwest and had an adventurous spirit about him.

Tom's parents were anxious about his future. Auld ended up writing him a letter where she expressed her concern over his life going nowhere; and told him she was ending things because no one understood what was happening with Tom.

THE WEDDING

The letter shook Tom up, and he and Auld surprised everyone when they tied the knot on August 17, 1962. Their wedding was held on the hottest day of the year in Yankton, South Dakota.

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In a December 9, 2011, piece for the Erica Diamond blog, the couple's daughter, Sarah Brokaw, shared more about their wedding day. She revealed that 150 friends and family attended the wedding.

Tom Brokaw at the "Five Came Back" world premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on March 27, 2017, in New York City | Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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Despite the church not having air conditioning, everyone packed in there to lay witness to the union. At the time, Auld was the reigning Miss South Dakota, while Sarah described her father as a "witty charmer."

SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS

Although the couple was generally happily married, they did face some tough times in their union. For instance, in April 2018, Tom's former NBC colleague, Linda Vester, wrote an email accusing him of sexual assault.

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The journalist responded to the allegations by writing his letter to his NBC colleagues denying the claims. An angry Tom said he deeply resented the anger and pain the scandal had inflicted on Auld, their daughters, and granddaughters.

The star shared how he was an advocate for women's rights. He noted how he and his family would pursue social justice in corporate offices, emergency rooms, and more, and the accusations wouldn't take that away.

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CANCER DIAGNOSIS

However, the difficult times for Tom and his wife actually began a few years back. In 2014, NBC revealed that in August 2013, the news anchor was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the Mayo Clinic.

The star was being treated for cancer, and doctors were thought he was making good progress. Tom was around 73 or 74 when he battled it out with the deadly disease with the loving support of his family.

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TELLING WIFE ABOUT DIAGNOSIS

The day after he found out about his diagnosis, Tom had to travel to his family's Montana ranch to tell his wife. During an interview on "The Hoda Kotb Show," the news anchor said he delayed the news because of the dangerous bumpy 40-minute ride home from the airport.

When they arrived on the premises, he made himself a scotch drink then sat down on the corner of the bed to break the news. Auld took the information well but started asking questions her husband didn't have the answers for.

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MEREDITH'S SUPPORT

In 2015, Tom spoke to Parade about his journey with cancer, and he's since gone into remission. He revealed how the diagnosis deepened the awe he had of his wife and their incredible relationship, adding:

“We’ve always cared about each other a lot, but I so depended on her through this.”

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The couple managed to get through the challenges they faced, probably because of how strong their relationship was from the beginning. According to Sarah, her mother's decision to marry her father raised people's eyebrows.

They felt Auld could have any eligible bachelor, for instance, sophisticated people like Eldon Weinstock, in the town. On the other hand, Tom wasn't established then and didn't seem to have a plan for his future.

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THE PROPOSAL

Auld listened to her own heart and chose to marry Tom. According to Sarah, on June 9, 1962, Auld proposed to him, but he called her parents, Merritt and Vivian Auld, to get their official permission to marry their daughter.

BENEFITS OF A LONG MARRIAGE

In the 59 years that the couple has been together, Auld has become an author and a toy store owner, among other things. The couple has welcomed three daughters together - Sarah, Jennifer, and Andrea.

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Jennifer worked as a doctor in San Francisco and helped Tom during his battle with cancer. Sarah is an author and a Los Angeles-based licensed therapist, and in 2004, Andrea was working for Warner Brothers Records as a vice president of marketing.

It came up after a fire broke out in the building leading the couple [Meredith Auld and Tom Brokaw] to a “very, very fortunate” escape.

The news anchor and Auld are now grandparents who love spending some quality time with their grandchildren on their ranch. Andrea has shared social media images of her children with her father and mother in the past.

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LIVING IN MONTANA

Tom wasn't even interested in living in Montana until he was almost 50, having grown close by in South Dakota. After going on assignment to shoot a documentary, he was drawn to the area and was called up again into the state by the Montana Bar Association to give a speech.

The "Tom Brokaw Reports" journalist and his wife ended up loving how spacious the state was and decided to buy land there. Tom wanted 100 acres and a river, and the first time he saw the property they settled on, he wasn't impressed.

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The star fell in love when he went again the second time, but his wife still had to see the property. It took Auld six months to go through, and then she fell in love with it, leading the couple to get full ownership of the place together.

NEW YORK APARTMENT

In 2020, it was revealed that the "NBC Nightly News" star and his wife also owned an apartment in New York. It came up after a fire broke out in the building leading the couple to a "very, very fortunate" escape.

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