There’s little doubt that America’s favorite meteorologist is Al Roker, who, over the course of his distinguished career has become a major face on morning television. Known for his big smile, trademark glasses, and sunny disposition, Roker has made quite the name for himself, penning several books, starring on Broadway, and breaking world records, to name a few. And his wife, Deborah Roberts, is no slouch either, as she’s an award-winning journalist and an author in her own right. What a power couple!
With parents like that, there’s no question that Roker and Roberts’ children are destined for great things. We’re especially interested in what Leila Roker is up to, given that she’s stepping out of her parents’ shadows and into a limelight all her own. So what’s the daughter of America’s weatherman interested in? Does she plan to light up the green screen just like her dad does? Here’s what we know about Leila Roker, who’s grown up to be seriously gorgeous.
Both science and faith helped bring Leila into the world
For some couples, getting pregnant is easy. But for the many other couples who struggle with infertility, getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term can be extremely difficult. The latter was the case for Roker and Roberts, who’ve been open about their reproductive struggles. That’s why, after losing one pregnancy after the two month mark, they turned to in vitro fertilization the second time around. It worked, and Roberts got pregnant again. “This time I was afraid to be too happy,” Roker penned in Guideposts. “I prayed every day, asking God to keep my wife and our unborn child in his hands.”
Nine months later, Roker’s prayers were answered, when at 9:17 AM on Tuesday, November 17, 1998, Leila Ruth Roker was born. Of course, Roker was overcome with gratitude. “Science may have helped us on our path to pregnancy, but it couldn’t get us all the way to the end,” he continued. “The only thing that could do that was the power and grace of God.” What a blessing!
Two parents with two distinct styles
Roker and Roberts have been married a long time — since 1995, y’all — and parenting for even longer, as Roker also has a child from his first marriage. And during that time, they’ve come to accept how different their parenting styles are. “I’m a little bit more involved and hands-on, I think, and Al is a lot more standoffish when it comes to meddling in their lives,” Roberts shared in an interview with Today. Sounds like “go ask your mother” is said a lot in their house!
That divergence of styles was especially apparent when Leila had a big decision to make. “Leila wanted to change schools… from middle school to high school,” Roker recalled. “She had been going to a private school, she wanted to go to a public school here in New York City. Deborah was kind of against it, I was for it!” So who won that battle? Given that Leila went to LaGuardia High School, it sounds like pops claimed that victory… this time.
A city slicker through and through
In 2016, the world got an intimate look at Leila’s life (and her adorably chummy relationship with her dad) on the Today show, when the pair ventured out together to Sequoia National Park for their first-ever camping trip. And both of them admit that they were surprised when Leila agreed to go, given her personality. “I am a city kid, so like, camping? I’m not good at that,” she admitted. So you know this is gonna be good!
Leila really wasn’t lying about being out of her element in the woods, either. “There are animals and trees everywhere,” she observed. “And I really don’t like birds because I’m afraid one will poop on my head.” Wait, what? Someone must be accustomed to dodging NYC pigeons!
City mouse or country mouse, Leila couldn’t hide her wonder when she and her dad got to see American black bears up close and personal, just waking up from their winter hibernation. Plus, watching the duo try and set up a tent? Priceless.
She's a fashionista
New York City arguably offers some of the best people-watching opportunities in the world, given that it’s an international destination. So it’s not surprising that Roker has become something of a fashionista, able to slay looks with the best of them.
So what’s her fashion philosophy? “My style is fluid. Sometimes I like to be girly, and other times I like to be edgier,” she noted in Footwear News, which she shared in an Instagram post. That’s a solid approach, for sure! That also means she can really mix it up, depending on her mood. “Some weeks I’ll wear a lot of skirts; other weeks I’ll wear tomboyish styles,” she continued.
Roker has regularly shared her fashion advice, particularly when it comes to shoes, several times in Footwear News. She also cites her celeb fashion idols, including Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Khloe Kardashian. We can’t wait to see what she’ll wear next!
Clapping back against the haters
As is all too real in the age of social media, becoming famous can make you the target of haters — especially if you’re a woman. That’s something Roker unfortunately has had to deal with, although she’s not afraid to confront people and shut them down when need be.
In fact, that’s exactly what she did in an Instagram post she made in 2017. “I can wear what I want and do what I want,” she wrote, clapping back against the bullies who called her names. She also pointed out that she looks a lot better and has done a lot more in life than her trolls, which is painfully obvious to anyone looking.
Still, Roker understands what kind of impact these hateful actions can have. “Thank you for continuing to be the barriers that set women back in being imprisoned by their looks,” she quipped sarcastically. Pay no mind to the peanut gallery, boo!
Sworn to the sisterhood
Roker is a feminist and isn’t afraid to let the world know it, which isn’t a surprise given how outspoken her mother has been about women’s issues. For one, the young Roker posts empowering images on her Instagram page that promote both body positivity and the importance of strong women. We are definitely here for that!
Roker also goes deep on the issues, too, and has given her take on controversies on more than one occasion. For example, remember when the all-female Ghostbusters movie had a bunch of dudes feeling extra salty? Well, she had something to say about it. “Maybe guys would like Ghostbusters better if it was an all model production with Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, and Adriana Lima,” she wondered in an Instagram post. “Instead of the equipped, renowned comedians already cast?” We’re picking up what you’re putting down, Leila!
Roker has also publicly lauded reporter Ronan Farrow, whose coverage of the #MeToo moment helped uncover the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
This is where she goes to college
One of the most important decisions in a young adult’s life is where to go to college, something Roker stressed about back in 2016. But of course, any worry she had was unfounded, as she was accepted to the University of Southern California’s class of 2021, according to a post on her Instagram page. Congrats, girl!
Additionally, because Roker clearly knows how to live, she decided to spend her first year studying abroad at the American University of Paris. Oh la la! And while that does sound pretty close to paradise, Roker has been open about some of the difficulties she’s faced in the process, which are more complex than your usual freshman problems. “By spending my freshman year studying in Europe, I faced an even bigger culture shock,” she wrote in Forbes magazine. “I was suddenly faced with what it was like to be a young black woman in a predominantly white European world.” That cannot be easy.
Fortunately, Roker looks like she’s having a wonderful time in Europe, enjoying all it has to offer.
A chip off of the old block
Roker’s dad may be America’s weatherman, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be following in the meteorologist’s footsteps. Rather, Roker appears to be shaping up to take after her mother when it comes to her fledgling career. That’s right: she’s a self-professed “budding journalist,” according to her LinkedIn page. Looks like mom had a real impact!
Rather than waiting until finishing college to get real world experience, Roker has been busy writing for several different outlets. For one, she’s contributed several articles to Peacock Plume, the student newspaper for the American University of Paris. She’s also been published in Footwear News and Forbes, and has interned for Paper magazine. That’s a pretty impressive resume for someone her age! Roker is also interested in social media and public relations, in addition to fashion. Chances are you’ll be seeing her bylines in high places in the future.
Crusading against campus sexual assault
During her first few weeks of college life, Roker saw that something was different — something big. “I began to realize that many of the people around me held antiquated views on how men and women should carry themselves, and specifically, what the standards were for acceptable male behavior,” she penned in in Forbes magazine. Coming from progressive NYC, that had to be an intense discovery.
This in turn led to another revelation. “I was suddenly faced with having to create my own definition of what is considered to be sexual harassment and assault,” she continued. But rather than be overwhelmed or rest on her laurels, Roker sprang into action. She reached out to It’s On Us, a non-profit organization (started from the Biden Foundation) with the mission of getting men to be active in stopping sexual assault. As a digital fellow, she’s worked with her university to prevent sexual assault on campus. That is a prime example of leadership!
She's a certified yoga teacher
Where do you find Roker when she’s not studying, working on an article, spending time with her family, being an activist, or slaying on her Insta? Well, chances are good that you’ll find her pumping iron at the gym, as she’s no stranger to working out. And in June of 2018, she diversified her exercise portfolio, as if she wasn’t already busy enough. “Just completed a yoga teaching program, and in a couple of weeks I’ll have yoga teacher certification,” she wrote in an Instagram post. No wonder she looks so fit and strong!
The certification process was transformative for her, too, bringing positive new energy into her life. “So thankful for the life changing people and their souls I’ve met on this journey,” she continued. Judging from the way those headstands are coming along, maybe we’ll see more yoga selfies in the future.
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