Today host Al Roker never shies away from getting candid with viewers about his personal health journey. The weatherman underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002 after making a promise to his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., that he would prioritize his health and well-being. Al has since had quite a dramatic weight loss transformation in the spotlight.
Beginning in the late ‘70s, Al worked at NBC affiliates and gained notoriety as an energetic weathercaster at several popular stations. His journey on Today began in 1996 as the weekday weatherman, a role that soon led to more opportunities to become a main host of the program over time. Al shared in his 2013 memoir, Never Goin’ Back: Winning The Weight Loss Battle for Good, that his father’s death changed his whole outlook on life.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment,” he wrote, also sharing that he weighed in at 340 pounds before the surgery.
After his gastric bypass surgery, the New York native lost 100 pounds. A few years later, a family tragedy shifted his entire world, resulting in him gaining 40 pounds back.
“My mom got really sick, and unlike my dad, who was gone before we knew it, her illness dragged on for months,” he told Parade in December 2012. “I was out of my routine, commuting [to Long Island] to see her, and feeling guilty — either that I wasn’t spending enough time with the kids and Deborah, or that I wasn’t being there enough with my mom. It was this perfect storm, and I consoled myself with food. I got blindsided and, I think, to a certain extent, I got cocky.”
The former Remember This? host became a father of three during his career, adopting daughter Courtney in 1987 with his first wife, Alice Bell. He and his second wife, Deborah Ann Roberts, welcomed their daughter, Leila, in 1998, and son Nicholas in 2002. Family was a huge motivator as to why Al decided to meet with a nutritionist and create an exercise regime that he would be able to maintain. In March 2022, he shared an inspiring post on Instagram on the 20th anniversary of the surgery that changed his life.
“Hard to believe it was 20 years ago today, I wore these size 54 Levi jeans to my #gastricbypass at 340 pounds and here I am today,” he wrote. “It’s still a struggle but I’m never going back. I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.”
Keep scrolling to see Al’s incredible weight loss transformation over the years.
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