Without a doubt, Al Roker is one of the most recognizable media personalities in the world of broadcast television. Seriously, how many weathermen or women can you name off the top of your head? And of those that you can list off, how many are as universally beloved Roker? Frankly, the man’s a living legend! Recently, however, Roker’s ongoing health battles have forced him to take a step back from the spotlight to focus on what matters most – his recovery.
Before breaking his silence, Roker had been mysteriously absent from performing his regular duties as one of the hosts of NBC’s Today Show for quite some time, leading many of his fans to question whether or not he was out enjoying a sunny vacation on a beach somewhere or something benign like that. After his prostate cancer scare in late 2020, however, many of his fans responded to his absence with reasonable concern for his health. In mid-November, the beloved anchor and weatherman finally answered questions about the state of his health. As it turns out, for the previous two weeks, Roker had been confined to the hospital suffering from blood clots.
In this video, we’re going to be discussing Roker’s recent health scare. We’ll also be covering Roker’s various other health issues, both past and current.
A Beloved TV Icon
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, on the 20th of August, 1954. Initially, he wanted to be a cartoonist, but he ended up earning his B.A. in communications at the State University of New York in 1976.
Roker’s first television gig was as a weather anchor for the CBS affiliate channel WHEN-TV in Syracuse, New York. He served in that capacity from 1974 to 1976 while he was still enrolled in college.
After graduating, he moved to Washington DC where he took a job as a weatherman at the independent station WTTG. Roker would remain there for the next two years before beginning his career with NBC in 1978.
Roker’s first position with the network was with the WKYC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio. After five years serving as a weather anchor in Cleveland, Roker was promoted to NBC’s flagship outlet, WNBC-TV, in his hometown of New York City. Within eight months, he became the station’s regular weeknight weathercaster.
From 1983 to 1996, Roker was the regular substitute for weather forecaster Joe Witte on NBC News at Sunrise. And then from 1990 to 1995, he filled in frequently for Brant Gumbel and Willard Scott on the Today Show. From 1997 through the early 2000s, he regularly filled in for Matt Lauer.
In 1995, Roker was also given a weekend talk show on CNBC called The Al Roker Show.
Since 1996, Rocker has been a full-time weatherman and host of the Today Show. While he had already been a guest host and forecaster on the program up until this point, his popularity skyrocketed when he was made a full-time weatherman on the regular weekday weather slot. Over time, Roker was given more and more opportunities to conduct interviews and present segments on the program. Famously, he’s kept the daily tradition alive of giving birthday wishes to centenarians.
Throughout his tenure on the Today show, Roker has reported on some truly historic events. In 2005, a video of him reporting from inside Hurricane Wilma went viral, as he could be seen being swept off his feet by the fierce wind.
During the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama, Roker received a handshake from then-Vice President Joe Biden. Years later, at Biden’s inauguration in 2021, he received a spirited fist bump from the newly inaugurated Prez just moments before entering the White House.
In November of 2014, during an event dubbed “Roker-thon”, Roker did a non-stop, 34-hour forecast on NBC from 10:00pm on November 12 till 8:00 am on November 14. He set the unofficial world record for the longest, uninterrupted live weatherf report. In case you were curious, the previous holder of this claim to fame was Norwegian weather broadcaster Eli Karl Gjengedal.
Since 1995, Reoker has hosted NBC’s annual coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unfortunately, this year he was noticeably missing. We only learned after the fact that Roker was actually in the hospital being treated for said blood clots.
In addition to his work with the Today show, Roker has also appeared in a number of other TV shows and films. In 2008, for example, he hosted Celebrity Family Feud. The previous year he substituted for Meredith Vieira for a week on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
On the big screen, Roker has appeared in films such as 2005s Robots, 2009s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and 2011s The Big Year.
Roker’s Blood Clots: What We Know So Far
Since the beginning of November 2022, Roker has been absent from Today and has been keeping a fairly low profile on social media during his time away. That being said, he has made several appearances by means of pre-recorded video segments. He also recently shared a post on Instagram announcing his new program with Dylan Dreyer. In response to that message, Roker received a flood of messages from reasonably concerned fans.
After weeks of silence, Roker finally revealed what had been keeping him away when he admitted that he had spent the previous two weeks hosptialized while receiving treatments for his blood clot. Evidently, the clot he had been suffering from had traveled from his legs to his lungs. Due to the seriousness of that potentially life-threatening issue, Roker was forced to be hospitalized.
Alongside a photo of a flower bouquet, Roker acknowledged on social media that many of his fans had been ‘thoughtfully asking’ about where he had been.
Fortunately, Roker is receiving the best possible treatment, and he wanted to make sure that his concerned fans and followers knew that he was well on his way to making a full recovery. With that bit of reassurance, Roker thanked everyone for their outpouring of well wishes and prayers while writing that he hopes to see everyone again soon.
Roker has yet to announce that he has been released from the hospital, but his wife, Deborah Roberts, recently posted a comment on Instagram that implies that he isn’t yet out of the woods. Blood clots, after all, have the potential to be very serious. Roker’s situation, as much as he would like to downplay it, could very easily cost him his life. Hopefully, however, he’ll be able to beat this.
Roker’s Today co-star, Savannah Guthrie, has joined the long list of colleagues who have come out to show their support for him during these trying times. Guthrie commented that Roker is the ‘strongest person’ that she knows. “We miss you and will see you soon!!” Guthrie wrote.
Likewise, Morning Show host, Hoda Kotb, wrote “Al Roker – hurry back to us…counting the days”. Kotb wrapped her message up fittingly with a string of x’s and o’s.
Roker Recently Shared His Experience With Prostate Cancer
In May 2021, the then-66-year-old TV personality revealed several details about his battle with prostate cancer. Roker admitted that he initially considered postponing his annual physical amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but he was incredibly grateful that he decided to go ahead and get the checkup. If he hadn’t, he might not have received his prostate cancer diagnosis as soon as he had.
Roker announced in November 2020 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer two months prior. On November 9th, he had a successful operation to remove the tumor, and by November 17, he was back home recovering.
Roker knows full well that if he hadn’t gone to see the doctor when he had, things might have played out very differently. Because of his experience, Roker has become a vocal advocate for men, especially those past the age of 55 or 40, if they are at higher risk, to receive regular prostate exams. When Roker revealed the details of his health battle in November 2020 live on the Today show, he did so publicly like that because he wanted to raise awareness about this form of cancer which affects 1-in-9 men.
“Uncle Al’s” Gastric Bypass Surgery
Twenty years ago, back in 2002, Roker underwent gastric bypass surgery. Before having the procedure, Roker weighed 340 lbs and wore size 54 jeans. To mark the twentieth anniversary of his life-changing procedure, Roker pulled out a pair of his old pants in a video post that he made on Twitter. He then proceeded to show the world how he can now fit his entire body into just one leg of the jeans.
While showing the world how far he has come with such a powerful visual aid to really drive the point home, Roker admitted that staying fit and healthy is still something that he struggles with, but he’s determined as ever to never go back to his pre-bypass lifestyle.
After showing off his old jeans, Savannah Guthrie chimed in by telling Roker that he was an inspiration to her “every day – every minute”. Carson Daly seconded that sentiment by Tweeting “You’re the Yoda to my Skywalker Uncle Al”.
After undergoing weight loss surgery in 2002 after years of struggling to keep his weight in check with diet and exercise alone. Roker was able to drop more than 100 pounds. In the process, which he initially kept secret from his fans and colleagues, Roker surprised everyone with his rapidly slimming figure.
After having the operation, Roker told People that somebody at his gym told him that he didn’t want to lose too much weight because he’s famous for being the funny, fat weather guy. After hearing that comment, however, Roker realized that he didn’t see himself that way. While it was true that he was both fat and funny, he didn’t think that he was funny just because he was overweight. He found those things to be mutually exclusive and didn’t want to be famous just for those reasons alone.
Nowadays, Roker has managed to keep the weight off with healthy eating and regular exercise. In fact, he’s been quite open about his weight-loss journey over on his Instagram. Granted, not everyone has been fully supportive of his methods. On one occasion, he butted heads with Jillian Michaels, a fitness instructor who previously appeared on the Biggest Loser, over his choice to follow a Keto diet.
Michaels insisted that the diet is unhealthy and scientifically unproven to be effective. Roker replied to Michaels on Today by acknowledging that there is science on both sides that indicates that it could really go either way – some that says it’s a good idea and some that implies that it might not be the most effective or healthy diet choice. Either way, Roker maintained that people should make their own decisions in conjunction with the advice of their doctors and healthcare professionals.
At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Al Roker. Until we hear more about his ongoing blood clot issue, all we can do is send him all of our love and support. On behalf of all of us at Facts Verse, we wish him a speedy recovery!
Before you move on to watching another one of our facts-packed videos, take a moment to drop us a line in the comments. Did you know that Al Roker is currently battling a potentially life-threatening blood clot? And were you aware that the beloved weatherman was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020 at the height of the pandemic?