Nancy Alspaugh is a popular writer of books supporting middle-aged women ‘on their second half of life’, as she wrote in her book “Fearless Women: Midlife Journeys”. She is also known for being the first wife of the TV celebrity host Matt Lauer, who has recently been accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment.

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Early life, family, educational background

Nancy Alspaugh was born on 4 May 1955 in the USA, so holds American nationality. From her early years, Nancy was interested in the entertainment industry, finding television to be the most appropriate place for her career, even though her family was very religious and could not approve her endeavors.

She also enjoyed writing from her early childhood, so her parents supported that hobby, and helped her a lot while she was studying at her local high school, being in touch with Nancy’s English teachers to develop her writing talent. Nancy matriculated in 1973, enrolling on of the universities on her home state.

Career

Nancy’s television career became notable only in 1994, as an executive producer of the popular show “Vicki!” The show was so successful that Nancy and her team were nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award, not winning it, unfortunately. However, Nancy started writing the script for the new talk show entitled “Leeza” in 1995.

Thanks to the fruitful work of producers and writers of the show, including Nancy, Leeza Gibbons, the hostess of the show, was also nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award. In 1996 Nancy became the executive producer of the new TV series “Caryl & Marilyn: Real Friends”, and then switched to another project, “The Bradshaw Difference”, the talk-show hosted by John Bradshaw.

Fair writing about aging

Nancy’s passion for writing eventually took her to writing book; the first one, “Not Your Mother’s Midlife: A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging”, was published in 2003. Along with the co-author of the book, Marilyn Kentz, Nancy shared her thoughts on wisely aging, gave practical tips for middle-aged women on how to have a positive attitude to aging, and how to adjust to this new life experience.

The book was called ‘a guide to modern aging’ by its readers, and inspired Nancy to write another book. Her next project was not a regular book, but a set of portraits. Working again with her co-author Marilyn Kentz, Nancy created “Fearless Women: Midlife Journeys” (2005), releasing the collection of black and white photos (by the photographer Mary Ann Halpin) of 50 celebrity middle-aged women holding a sword symbolizing their courage, power and readiness to fight for their happy future in terms of aging. Erin Brockovich, Leeza Gibbons, Joan Lunden, and many other TV and sports personalities were featured in the pages of this book, while the last page is left for the reader – every woman who reads this book could put her own photo there, concluding the list of fearless female warriors.

The book was praised by the critics, and received the prestigious Genesis Award, along with the Associated Press Award, the Gabriel Award, and many others. Nancy and Marilyn subsequently founded the Fearless Aging movement, breaking stereotypes and out-of-date views on aging, and supporting women who chose not to use plastic surgery or other ways to prolong their youth, embracing their age and the nature of their body changes.

Personal life, ex-husbands Matt Lauer and late H. Read Jackson

First husband, Matt Lauer

Nancy met Matt Lauer in 1980, when he was just starting his TV career.

Nancy Alspaugh and Matt Lauer

They began dating, and married the following year. Having no kids in their marriage, the couple broke up in 1988, officially divorcing in 1989 without specifying any reasons for their split. However, when Matt was accused of several cases of sexual harassment in 2017, Nancy defended him, saying he deserved a second chance: ‘I don’t think he’s been given a chance to defend himself, and I hope one day soon he will be able to tell his story. I’m sure it will be soon. He is beginning to feel like himself again, and people will finally hear his side of the story’, she commented in her interview to Entertainment Online in 2018.

After his relationship with Nancy, Matt married Annette Roque, a Dutch model, with whom he shares three children: Jack, Romy and Thijs. However, Annette officially divorced Matt in 2019, leaving him two years earlier when he was first accused of sexual harassment. As of 2019, Matt fell out of favor and doesn’t work anywhere, though he had a brilliant career, hosting the opening ceremonies of various Olympic Games, anchoring the “Today in New York” show on NBC, and hosting the “Dateline NBC” show.

Second husband, H. Read Jackson

In the early ‘90s Nancy married her second husband, H. Read Jackson, one of the Fox Sports Net executives, who also served as a producer for “World News Tonight” (aired on ABC) and the “60 Minutes” show on Fox Sports.

H. Read Jackson

The couple didn’t have any kids of their own, so they adopted a boy named Wyatt. H. Read Jackson died on 25 January 2016 after a long fight with cancer. Nancy shared on her Instagram account that the hardest question she kept on hearing from her son was: ‘When does dad come home?’ Being a devoted Christian, Nancy found her strength to carry on in her religion.

Adopted son with autism

Nancy and her second husband H. Read Jackson adopted their son Wyatt when he was a few months old. At the age of three, the boy was diagnosed with a form of autism, which lead Nancy to her own research on the illness, and to raise awareness of it among other people. Nancy spends a lot of time with her son, studying art with him, teaching him to draw, write and even read, as he has major problems with all these things.

A big fan of horse riding, Nancy also takes Wyatt to the hippodrome once a week so that he can ride, since she considers hippotherapy to be very helpful for people suffering from autism.

Charity

Being aware of all the difficulties families could face having a relative with autism diagnosed, Nancy actively participates in various charity events, and helps multiple foundations. Thus, she attended The 11th Anniversary event entitled “Denim, Diamonds and Stars for Autism”, which raises money for the families with kids suffering from all forms of autism.

Posted by Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hobbies and favorite things

Nancy is a big animal lover; she not only likes horse riding, but believes that even lying peacefully with a dog on one’s lap can make anyone feel better. Nancy also likes reading, swimming and traveling.

Appearance, clothing style

Nancy has short blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5ft 6ins (1.70m) tall and weighs around 143lbs (65kgs); her vital statistics are 38-29-40. As to her clothing style, she likes wearing casual clothes, preferring denim shorts, T-shirts and short skirts.

Net worth and salary

Nancy’s current net worth is estimated to be around $8 million, she accumulated during her writing and producing career, and from her second husband’s estate. As to her ex-husband, Matt Lauer, his net worth is estimated to be around $60 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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