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Tom Brokaw Has 60-Year Marriage That Survived His Cancer Though His Wife Was Disappointed When They Dated

Oyin Balogun
Jun 08, 2022
02:30 P.M.
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Behind Tom Brokaw, a seasoned journalist who dedicated more than fifty years of his life to TV is his loving wife of many years. Their long-term marriage has not been a smooth ride following disappointments and battling an illness, but these two came out unscared. Instead, their love deepened.

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Tom Brokaw, a South Dakota native famous for his anchoring chops on the "Nightly News," retired from Television last year, but not without establishing a long-lasting legacy. Although the 82-year-old would no longer work as a journalist, he continues to extend a helpful hand by writing articles and books.

Tom Brokaw always possessed an endearing charisma from his youth. As a young boy, he loved to express himself and was often encouraged by his teachers to showcase his talent in the open.

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

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By age 5, he began public speaking, and at 12, he was already famous in his state. When he moved to Yankton at 15, he met the woman who later became his wife. Brokaw was elected class president, and Meredith Auld worked as his vice president.

Brokaw was a ladies' man, and with the likeness for women came his love for wine. However, he became more than a friend to Auld, who at first felt disappointed despite her strategies to make him go away. She said:

"I really felt disappointed in him… It just seemed clear to me that this guy was going nowhere."

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Thankfully, Brokaw listened to the advice of his mentor. He dropped out of college for some time, which helped him refocus, making him more appealing to Auld, who agreed to marry him.

TOM BROKAW'S LIFE AS A FAMILY MAN

Tom Brokaw speaks onstage during the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple Of Hope Awards | Source: Getty Images

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Once Brokaw became a married man, he did not waste time enlarging his family with three beautiful babies. The journalist and his wife welcomed three girls.

Coupled with becoming parents, the duo witnessed tremendous successes in their careers. Brokaw's fame as a one-of-a-kind host grew while his wife taught English to international students.

Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld attend Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw & Gordon "Nick" Mueller receive the Legion d'Honneur Medal at Palais de la Legion d'Honneur in Paris on May 19, 2016 | Source: Getty Images

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These two were a force to reckon with, and along the line, their work paved the way for a luxury lifestyle. Yet, they wanted their girls to have a normal childhood.

Following his job as the "Today" show co-anchor, Brokaw and his family moved to a bigger house in New York, and their daughters began attending a private school.

Tom Brokaw visits at SiriusXM Studio on May 9, 2016 | Source: Getty Images

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Irrespective of the change, the couple maintained their values, instilling their middle-class roots in their kids. According to them, they did not want the kids to grow up "thinking that they are somehow better than the rest of the society."

Even though many wondered if it would ever be possible, the South Dakota native and his wife struggled to live ordinary lives. Brokaw once admitted that after he told a colleague that his daughters attended UC Berkeley and Stanford University, the person said:

"That's akin to having one child in the Grateful Dead and another in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir."

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Eventually, Brokaw proved to be superhuman, having the perfect family —a successful marriage, nurturing his three daughters into amazing adults, and having five grandkids.

BROKAW AND AULD BUILT A HAPPY FAMILY BUT WENT THROUGH CHALLENGING TIMES

Tom Brokaw, NBC anchor and author, speaks at the American Visionary: John F. Kennedy's Life and Times debut gala | Source: Getty Images

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Now, the couple can easily smile while looking behind their past struggles. But once upon a time, it felt overwhelming. In 2013, the retired journalist was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Although it is treatable, it has been labeled an incurable illness. Following the diagnosis, his doctors opened up about the dangers of the disease, explaining how many famous people had died from it.

Tom Brokaw and wife Meredith Lynn Auld during The 2004 Riverkeeper Benefit Dinner at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 in New York City, New York | Source: Getty Images

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This was too much to bear for Brokaw, as he had only had a perfect life, including the right job and family. Thankfully, he responded well to treatments and has been in remission because of the immense help from his family. In his words:

"Treating cancer is a family cause. My family is not only attractive…but they're really smart and they're very, very compassionate. They're all involved in one way or another."

Understanding how journalism works, Brokaw was determined not to be headlined as having an irredeemable illness. In the back of his mind, he did not want to be treated with pity.

Meredith Lynn Auld and Tom Brokow attend JUDY LICHT and JERRY DELLA FEMINA Host the GENIUS ON THE EDGE Book Party at Private Residence on February 8, 2010 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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His wife was his rock throughout this period, always by his side to show support and was ready to listen to his complaints.

This fueled Brokaw with a healthy mindset, and his body reacted positively to treatment. While breaking the news to fans, the former journalist displayed optimism, claiming to be "the luckiest guy" he knows.

LIFE FOR THE COUPLE AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS

Tom Brokaw and Meredith Lynn Auld attend STAND UP FOR HEROES, an Evening of Comedy to Benefit the BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION at Town Hall on November 5, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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In 2014, Brokaw surprised fans with the exciting news that his cancer was in remission, adding that his consistency with his drugs would curb the disease.

Even though the illness came unexpectedly, Brokaw and his family championed it by sticking together. After more than five decades as a couple, the retired journalist admitted that the experience affected their relationship. According to him:

"[Meredith and I] have been married a long time. This cancer experience has just deepened my awe of her. It's hard for me to say I love her more."

Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld attend the men's semifinals on day 12 of the 2018 tennis US Open on Arthur Ashe stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2018 in Flushing Meadows , Queens, New York City | Source: Getty Images

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The father of three explained that although they had shown care to each other since the beginning of their marriage, it intensified following his health challenge.

Having spent more than fifty years as a journalist, Brokaw decided it was time to step down and enjoy the rest of his years with those who genuinely looked out for him.

Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith Lynn Auld during day nine of the 2009 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2009 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Working on TV was ruled out, as the father-of-three prioritized family time. However, he is still actively writing. Brokaw's life shows that fame is not enough to make one lose what is dear to them, especially if valued.

At 82, he remains one of the best journalists to have worked on the NBC network as an anchor and director. Undoubtedly, apart from being an exemplary family man, he has portrayed distinction in his career, making it almost impossible to fill his shoes.

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