Who is Bryant Gumbel?

Bryant Charles Gumbel was born in New Orleans, Louisiana USA, on 29 September 1948 – his zodiac sign is Virgo, and he holds American nationality. He’s a TV journalist and sportscaster, who’s probably known best for the 15 years which he spent co-hosting the NBC morning news and talk show “Today”.

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Early life and education

Bryant was raised in New Orleans alongside his brother Greg, and sisters Renee Gumbel-Farrahi and Rhonda Gumble-Thomas, by their father Richard Dunbar Gumbel who was a judge, and their mother Rhea Alice (nee LeCesne) who was a city clerk.

Bryant was raised Catholic, and attended the private Catholic co-educational secondary school De La Salle Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

Posted by Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

He was interested in a couple of activities during his four years there, as he played football for the school, and also wrote about high school sports for the school’s newspaper. Bryant was urged by his father to focus on his education, which was why he spent more time studying than playing sports.

Upon matriculating in 1966, Bryant enrolled at Bates College, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Russian history in 1970.

Bryant’s early career

Bryant launched his career in 1971, when he became the editor of the monthly “Black Sports Magazine”, a job he held for around a year, when he was invited to join the network KNBC as their sportscaster in October 1972.

Bryant began attracting attention in November 1975, when he joined NBC Sports and started hosting their show “Grandstand”, which covered the National Football League (NFL). He went on to host various events for NBC between 1975 and January 1982, including NFL, college basketball and Major League Baseball (MLB) – Bryant then focused solely on hosting the show “Today”.

The show “Today”

It was revealed by NBC in June 1981 that the now-retired TV journalist and author Thomas John ‘Tom’ Brokaw would no longer be hosting “Today” after May 1982, and that they were looking for his replacement.

Many NBC News correspondents auditioned for the job, including Chris Wallace and Jessica Savitch; Bryant auditioned by chance, because he was once a last-minute fill-in for the show’s anchor Jane Pauley. Thomas retired a bit earlier than he had initially planned, on 18 December 1981, and Bryant took his place on 4 January 1982, while Chris Wallace was also hired to work for the show as the chief White House correspondent.

In the first two years of Bryant and Chris taking over the reins, the show “Today” was falling behind in views to “Good Morning America”, however, this changed after Bryant was sent to report from Moscow, Soviet Union in February 1984.

Seeing how this had boosted their views, Bryant was then sent to report from various European and Asian countries, including Vietnam, and also from several South American countries, such that by 1986 “Today” ranked higher than “Good Morning America”.

“Today” fell behind “Good Morning America” again in the first half of 1990, and only returned to first place in December 1995. Bryant finally left the show on 3 January 1997.

Career after “Today”

In 1997 and 1998, Bryant hosted the CBS show “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel”, and his 1998 episode “The Reckoning” won him a Peabody Award; the show was still cancelled after only a single season.

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Between 1 November 1999 and 17 May 2002, he hosted “The Early Show” on CBS, and was amongst the first people to announce the 9/11 attacks to viewers.

Since 1995, Bryant has been hosting the HBO’s investigative show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”, which in 2012 won a Peabody Award.

Other credits

Bryant appeared in the 1993 episode “The Puffy Shirt” of the critically acclaimed comedy series “Seinfeld”.

He made a guest appearance in the 2005 comedy movie “The Weather Man”, which starred Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine.

Awards

Bryant has won more than 20 awards, including four Emmys, three National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award for Outstanding Foreign Affairs work from the Overseas Press Club, and an African-American Institute Leadership Award.

Love life and wife

Bryant prefers to keep the details of his love life to himself, but it’s still widely known that he has married twice. He exchanged vows with the non-celebrity American June Baranco in 1973, in a private ceremony attended by only the closest of their friends and family members. She gave birth to their two children during the the late ‘70s, but Bryant and June have been keeping them away from the media’s attention, wanting the children to be able to lead normal lives.

The two divorced in 2001, apparently because Bryant had fallen in love with Hilary Quinlan, an American model, author and researcher. They’ve been together since they exchanged vows in 2002.

As of March 2022, Bryant’s married to his second wife Hilary Quinlan, and has two children with his first wife June Baranco.

Hobbies and interesting facts

Bryant weighed around 240lbs (110kgs) in 2002, so then put himself on a special diet, and lost 55lbs (25kgs) in the following seven months.

He’s still into travelling, and Bryant’s career has taken him all around the world, while his dream travel destination seems to be Barcelona in Spain.

Bryant’s a philanthropist, and has taken part in many fundraisers, while he occasionally donates money to charity organizations working with underprivileged children.

He likes to watch movies late at night – favorite actor and actress are Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep, while a couple of Bryant’s favorite films include “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – When Nature Calls”, “Bruce Almighty” and “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.

Age, height and net worth

Bryant’s age is 73. He has short black hair and brown eyes, his height is 5ft 9ins (1.75m) and he now weighs around 155lbs (70kgs).

As of March 2022, his net worth has been estimated at more than $25 million.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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