When Lester Holt was still a student, he first met his wife. He asked her to join him in a breaking news story, and they soon got married. The couple has been married for forty years and still helps one another. Holt also enjoys being a proud grandfather and parent.
One of the most well-known journalists working for NBC is Lester Holt. However, the reporter had already found his future bride while he was just starting out and studying, before he became the well-known figure that he is now.
The tale of how Lester and his wife, Carol Hagen, first met was made public in a profile “People” magazine ran on the reporter in 2004. Carol was a flight attendant and the NBC journalist was still a student of government at California State University.
Lester was dispatched to handle a forest fire in Napa Valley when they first started dating, in the early 1980s. The reporter agreed, but he also invited his future wife to go with him. Carol recalls thinking that this was her first time attending a breaking news story.
After Carol was let go from the airline in 1981, the couple decided to get married in 1982, after which they ended up in New York, where Lester landed a job at KNXT (now KCBS-TV). The reporter moved between several positions at different companies after that.
The two welcomed their first son, Stefan Holt, in 1987, and a few years later, their second son, Cameron Holt, followed his brother into the world. With two children, Lester still devoted a lot of time to his job.
Carol commented that although she had to support her husband’s career, she knew from the start what she was getting herself into. Ever since that first trip she took with him, she knew she would have to be prepared for almost anything.
Carol’s Support Built a Strong Relationship
Lester admitted that without his wife’s support and understanding, he wouldn’t be where he was in his life. She knew and understood that he needed to leave home at irregular hours and that his job could call him in at any time. The journalist commented:
“She understands that when the bell rings, I like to answer it… I love her to death, 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 admitted that, although Carol was always prepared to face unexpected situations, his job has taken its toll on her over time. He also expressed his gratitude towards how she handles the unexpected.
The two shared how they stuck together during tough times and how they made their relationship last so long. Lester opened up, saying their best tool had been laughter. He mentioned that they both find being silly and laughing often to be one of the best remedies.
Although newscasting seems to run in their blood, their family ties are also solid.
But Carol has also managed to build herself a successful career over the years. After her job with the airline came to an end, she turned to real estate. She became a licensed real estate agent working for The Corcoran Group.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Lester had to do his entire show from home, his wife stepped in for him again. He joked that when he needed to do interviews, Carol acted as his technical manager, set designer, and lighting director.
Lester Loves Being a Family Man
Despite being a devoted career man, Lester also ensures he spends enough time with his two sons. His oldest, Stefan, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and is co-anchor of NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m. newscast.
The father and his three sons make the best of every holiday by coming together for food and family. They usually come together at Stefan’s house to enjoy his backyard and use his barbecue. Lester also said he loves Tex-Mex occasions.
Stefan and his wife, Morgan, had their third child, making Lester a proud grandfather three times over. When the second one was born, Lester was unfortunately away on a business trip, but the family made sure they celebrated the moment he was back.
During the pandemic, Stefan released a photo of his two kids in his home studio. In an interview, Lester commented on seeing the picture and how his grandchildren reminded him of being a father to his two boys.
After trying for a long time to get his grandkids to call him “Granddude,” Lester’s plan succeeded one night when they saw him on the news.
The news anchor also told the story of how he took his two kids to the studio one day, and they enjoyed seeing the set and how things were done. That day, they also took a photograph, and Lester remembered that it was the first day Stefan showed interest in his future career.
Although newscasting seems to run in their blood, their family ties are also solid. In a heartwarming scene for NBC, Stefan called out, “Hi, Dad!” before handing his segment over. Lester is also proud of Cameron, his younger son. Cameron decided to carve his own path career-wise.
Lester the Granddude
Stefan and his wife, Morgan, are the proud parents of three children. As a grandfather, Lester is almost prouder of their little ones than they are. The news anchor is also a laid-back granddad who likes having fun with the kids. He shared a sweet anecdote:
“[Morgan] said, ‘Well, what do you guys want to be called?’ And I said, ‘I think I want to be ‘Granddude’ because ‘grand,’ it bows to the fact that I’m older. But ‘dude’ says, ‘I still got a little bit. I still got a little,’ you know?”
After trying for a long time to get his grandkids to call him “Granddude,” Lester’s plan succeeded one night when they saw him on the news. He shared that he was feeling down then when an unexpected clip from Morgan cheered him up.
At the time, Lester was done with his broadcast, and he felt like he didn’t do a great job. On his way home, Morgan sent him a photo of one of his grandkids seeing him on TV and exclaiming, “Granddude!” Lester admitted:
“I just melt. You know, that’s the thing about kids. It takes you out of everything else going on in your life.”
Lester and his wife also love babysitting their grandkids over the weekends. On his Instagram, he shared a post of him with his grandkids and captioned it, “Any weekend with the grandsons is a great weekend!”
The news anchor also likes to take his grandkids to see where he works when he gets the chance. In another post, he was photographed hanging out with two of the boys at the studio.
Lester is clearly a doting “Granddude.” Speaking to Jimmy Fallon about this special role, he told the host, “Everything they say about being a grandparent is true.”