Lester Holt | Lester Holt and his grandchildren | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/stefholtnbc
Lester Holt | Lester Holt and his grandchildren | Source: Getty Images | Instagram.com/stefholtnbc

Lester Holt Who Celebrated 40 Years of Marriage This Year Is 'Granddude' to Grandkids & Sons' Role Model

Daniella Segell
Sep 01, 2022
02:20 P.M.

For many people, their grandchildren are the greatest joy in their lives. However, what their grandchildren call them can be a thorn in their sides. That's why Lester Holt chose the name by which his grandchildren would refer to him.


Lester Holt and his wife, Carol Hagen, met sometime during the early 1980s. She was a flight attendant when they met, and Holt was still far away from becoming the beloved news anchor on NBC News that we know today.

When they first started dating, Holt asked Hagen on a rather unusual date. He was called to cover a fire in Napa Valley and asked Hagen to join him. Hagen admitted that she was intrigued and went along with him.

Lester Holt  and Carol Hagen attend "The Imitation Game" New York Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on November 17, 2014 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Lester Holt and Carol Hagen attend "The Imitation Game" New York Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on November 17, 2014 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

She knew then that his career was fast-paced and said she knew what she was getting into when she began dating him. A while later, Hagen lost her job just as Holt landed a position as a reporter on WCBS-TV, so she followed him to New York for his new job.


The couple moved to New York in 1981, where Holt started his new position, and Hagen looked for new opportunities. By 1982 the pair was walking down the aisle and then moved to Los Angeles. They then welcomed a son, Stefan Holt, in 1987.

The couple has been married for forty years, and many fans have asked what the secret to their long and happy marriage is. Holt said in a 2020 interview that the key to a happy marriage was laughter and being silly together.


Expanding on what he shared with the "Access" hosts, Holt said why he thought laughter was so important, sharing:

"It gets you through the hard times. But we still have the ability to laugh and be really corny."

Holt then admitted that he knew he put his wife through tough times because of his job. The anchor shared that he liked to be there for big stories and breaking news, which was not easy on his wife and family.


However, Holt said that Hagen was patient and understanding about his career. He also admitted that she was a generous woman who was there for him when he needed it most, which he appreciated.


Not long after welcoming Stefan into the family in 1987, Holt and Hagen welcomed another son, Cameron. The family is close, and Hagen and Holt are proud of their sons for many reasons. However, their work ethic is what stands out to their father.


Holt praised his children, saying they were good boys growing up. They didn't give their parents any trouble, and now they have grown into fine young men who have started their own families.

Both of his sons have become successful in their own right, and their father is pleased with how they have turned out. They have each forged their career paths and produced excellent results in their fields.

Stefan, who studied Broadcast Journalism and Political Science at Pepperdine University, is now a successful reporter for NBC 5, Chicago. Before moving to Chicago, he worked as a temporary anchor at Hearst Magazine in Florida.


Aside from having a successful career, Stefan has also had success in his personal life. He is married to Morgan Holt and shares three sons with her. His sons are Henry, Sam, and James, who was born in 2021.

Cameron studied Mathematical and Computational Science at Stanford University. He also has a Master's Degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford, which he earned in 2013. Since then, he has worked as Vice President of the Institutional Equity Division at Morgan Stanley.

In terms of Cameron's personal life, he is much more private than Stefan. He has no children but has two rescue pets named Millie and Maddy. His Twitter account is private, but the bio shares that he is a Yankees and coffee enthusiast.


Although Cameron and Stefan differ in their approach to sharing their personal lives with the world, the brothers still share a close bond. On National Siblings Day in 2017, Stefan took to social media to show his brother off.

In the photo posted on Stefan's Instagram page, the siblings can be seen standing with their arms around one another while they smile into the camera in a black and white snap. The accompanying caption showed how Stefan felt about his brother.


Stefan explained that although he is older than Cameron, his younger brother is taller than he is. He then shared:

"The smartest and funniest guy I know. Celebrating my brother Cameron and all the other brothers and sisters out there."

Stefan has also been vocal about how much he appreciates his parents. On multiple occasions, he has taken to his social media pages to celebrate both Hagen and Holt for their role as his parents and the grandparents to his children.


Once, in 2017, Stefan posted a photo of Holt holding his son on his shoulders. The father-son duo appears happy in the shot. He paired the image with a caption praising his dad for teaching him so much, although he was not specific about what he learned from Holt.

However, in a 2020 Instagram post, Stefan shared another photo of Holt teaching Stefan to ride a bike. This time, the caption revealed what Holt had taught his son, 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! Happy Father's Day!"


Stefan has also shared photos of his mother on Instagram. In a 2019 post, Stefan shared a collage of pictures of himself and his mother throughout the years. He shared a simple caption along with it, wishing Hagen a happy Mother's Day.

Along with the fact that Holt taught Stefan all he knows, the pair now get to expand more on their bond because they work in the same building at NBC. Stefan anchors the four and eleven o'clock news.

Holt also shared that he loved working in the same building as his son because he was not embarrassed about sharing his affection for his father. He said that his son would tell him he loved him in the building, not concerned about who was around to hear the exchange.


The pair also go on air together sometimes, and when they're done talking to each other, Stefan will say a casual "Thanks, Dad!" and move on with his portion of the show. He also said that Cameron was close by because he worked in New York in finance.

Stefan and his father also share a love for flying. In an Instagram post shared on Holt's Instagram page, the pair were seen in the plane's cockpit, and Holt shared how much fun it was to fly co-pilot to his son.


While Holt and Hagen are proud parents to their sons, they are also proud grandparents to Stefan's three sons. Holt has often shared images of himself and his grandchildren when they visit him on set.


Holt cutely shared his favorite part about being a grandparent was that he could spoil the boys and have fun with them, and he was then allowed to send them back to their parents when the hard work began.

While Holt and Hagen love their grandchildren, they chose unconventional nicknames for Henry, Sam, and James to call them. Hagen is named CeeCee, and Holt is referred to as Granddude by the boys.


The first time the public learned that this is how the children referred to Holt was when a video of his grandson came out. Henry's mother holds the boy and asks who he sees on the TV, to which the young child responds, "Granddude!"

Holt said that he asked to be called Granddude because he thought the word "Grand" indicated that he was an elder, but the word "dude" implied that he was still young enough to be a fun grandparent.

When Holt first heard his grandson using his nickname, he said he felt proud and happy. He was delighted that his grandson finally recognized him and that he was using the name he picked out for himself.

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