Lester Holt met his wife 40 years ago while she was working as a stewardess. Decades later, they are parents to two grown men and grandparents to loving grandchildren.
Lester Holt is one of the most respected long-time news anchors in NBS. He is the first moderator of the first Democratic debate and the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Behind the scenes, Lester is a happily married man, father of two, and grandfather of three, together with his wife, real-estate agent Carol Hagen-Holt. Here's a look at his parenthood and 40-year-long marriage.
Lester Holt with his wife, Carol, and their two sons, Stefan and Cameron. | Source: instagram.com/stefholtnbc & Getty Images
LESTER HOLT AND HIS WIFE CAROL'S LOVE STORY
Carol and Lester met in 1980 when she was still a flight attendant, and he was a student studying government at California State University. Not much is known about their time as boyfriend and girlfriend, but Carol once revealed that Lester asked her to come with him to cover a forest fire story in Napa Valley. She said:
“I thought, 'Wow, I've never been invited to go on a breaking news story before. I guess I knew what I was getting myself into with Lester and his career.”
In 1981, when Lester became a reporter at WCBS-TV, the reportedly dismissed flight attendant made her way to New York. It wasn't long before the couple tied the knot in 1982 and moved to Los Angeles, where Lester became KCBS-TV's weekend anchor and reporter.
Later, the couple moved to Chicago for Lester's job at WBBM-TV before landing a job at MSNBC in 2000. While in Chicago, the pair became first-time parents to Stefan in 1987, followed by Cameron. In 2004, Carol said that her husband was "the fastest mike in the west." Shortly after, he was promoted to "Weekend Today."
He later became the permanent anchor on "NBC Nightly News," following Brian Wiliams' exit. In an interview, the television personality admitted that although he and his wife got used to Mondays and Tuesdays off, they would love to rest on Saturdays and Sundays.
While Lester's career progressed, Carol built her resume as a real estate salesperson in New York, where her husband worked for "NBC Nightly News." As mentioned in her profile, Carol specializes in helping clients relocate and "maximizing resale potential."
SECRET TO THE COUPLE'S 40-YEAR-LONG MARRIAGE
Carol and Lester have been through many triumphs and challenges together, including career changes, parenting struggles, etc. Through it all, they stood by each other with a promise to never give up. Lester said:
“We laugh a lot; we really do. I can be silly; she can be sillier. We laugh through things, and we know that everything, tough times will be a story at some point, and boy have I put her through some tough times with this job.”
Lester also credits their willingness to understand each other through good times and bad, as well as accept each other's quirks and characteristics.
"I love her to death," he said. "[She] has been so wonderful. She knows this job is going to bring a lot of late-night phone calls, but she's there for me, and that means an awful lot."
Lester and Carol have embraced grandparenthood with open arms and are close to the boys, who all resemble the news anchor a lot.
MEET THE COUPLE'S CHILDREN
Lester's first son, Stefan, followed in his father's footsteps and studied Broadcast Journalism and Political Science at Pepperdine University. Following his 2009 graduation, Stefan became a reporter and anchor at Hearst Magazine, Florida.
After a few years, he went to greater heights and became an NBC news anchor. He has been an anchor for "NBC 5 Chicago" since 2011. Five years later, Stefan moved to be an NBC affiliate in New York. His previous job at WMAQ described him as an "impeccable journalist and even better person."
Career aside, Stefan is also a loving husband and father of three, together with his wife, Morgan. The couple, who tied the knot in 2012, have three children, Henry, Sam, and James.
Meanwhile, Lester's youngest son, Cameron, took a different career path. He took up Mathematical Computation at Stanford University and pursued a Master's Degree in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford.
In 2013, he became the Vice President of the International Equity Division at Morgan Stanley, a job his father is undoubtedly proud of.
Aside from work, there is not much known about Cameron, except that he is a coffee-lover, Yankees fan, and fur dad. He also previously pursued a career on television as part of the production team of "Squawk on the Street" and “CNBC Reports."
It seems that everything his children have become is because of the amazing father Lester has been. Stefan paid tribute to Lester on Instagram, saying:
“From teaching me how to ride a bike, to reporting the news, and to raising a family of my own. Thank you, Dad, for everything!”
Similarly, Lester is proud to have raised them. "I think it's just that they're terrific," he said. "We were very lucky when they were growing up. There was, frankly, never any drama. There was no trouble – that I knew of [...]. They're running their own way in life, and as a parent, you really couldn't ask for more."
LESTER HOLT IS A DOTING GRANDPA
Stefan welcomed his youngest boy, James, last year, adding to the list of Lester's grandkids. Lester and Carol have embraced grandparenthood with open arms and are close to the boys, who all resemble the news anchor a lot.
In fact, Lester previously revealed that his older grandchildren gave him the moniker "granddude." He added, "It's fun to see a little bit of your child's personality come through in these grandkids. Sometimes, even my son [Stefan] doesn't necessarily see what we see, but it's just fun to watch them grow."
How Lester and Carol care for their grandkids resembles how they raised their own children. The same way Lester's mother read to him as a child, he also read to Stefan and Cameron.
Now, he reads to his grandchildren. Once during the pandemic, he set up his video paraphernalia to read a book, capture it on film, and send it to his grandkids. Lester said:
“That's something that is a very special event, and there's nothing more special than holding a child, and they fall asleep for nap time or nighttime.”
His favorite thing about being a grandad is that "you get to spoil them, you get to love them, and hug them, and all that stuff, but when the hard work comes, you get to make an excuse to make your exit."