Joan Lunden

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Joan Lunden
Joan Lunden 1996.jpg
Born Joan Elise Blunden
(1950-09-19) September 19, 1950 (age 63)
Fair Oaks, California, U.S.
Alma mater Sacramento State University
Occupation Journalist
Years active 1975–present
Children 7

Joan Lunden (born September 19, 1950) is an American journalist, author and television host. She was the co-host of ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) from 1980 through 1997 and is the author of 8 books. Lunden has appeared on the Biography program and Biography Channel.

Early life[edit]

Lunden was born as Joan Elise Blunden in Fair Oaks, California, the daughter of Gladyce Lorraine (née Somervill) and Erle Murray Blunden, a physician.[1] She earned a liberal arts degree from Sacramento State University.[2] She also studied Spanish and anthropology at the former Mexico City campus of Universidad de Las Americas. She was a visiting instructor at Montclair State College in New Jersey, where she taught a course in broadcast journalism.

She began her broadcasting career in Sacramento, California, where she worked for KCRA-TV[2] and Radio as co-anchor of the daily noon television news program. She also produced the noon news broadcast and hosted KCRA's television specials.

Career[edit]

Good Morning America[edit]

In 1975, Lunden joined New York's WABC-TV Eyewitness News, at which time her name was changed to 'Lunden' to avoid being called 'Blunder.'[3] A year later she became co-anchor on the weekend newscasts. Lunden joined GMA in the fall of 1976 as a feature news/consumer reporter, and later became fill-in co-host when former co-host Sandy Hill left to work on ABC's coverage of the Winter Olympics. Lunden's popularity with viewers led to her quick promotion to co-host with David Hartman, the program's original host. Later she would spend the majority of her career hosting with ABC's Charlie Gibson. An Entertainment Weekly national viewer poll named her "television's favorite morning anchor" during her years at GMA.The program lost more than a million daily viewers when Lunden retired from the morning news shift, according to TV Guide.

She reported from 26 countries, covered four presidents, five Olympic Games, and two royal weddings. Her popularity on the GMA program from the 1970s through the 1990s allowed her to interview U.S. Presidents and First Ladies Gerald and Betty Ford, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, George and Barbara Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and also Texas Governor George and Laura Bush prior to the younger Bush's 2000 election as President.

As the co-host of GMA, Lunden traveled the world, covering historic events, such as the 50th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) in 1995; the 50th anniversary of D-Day; the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and Calgary; and the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. She covered the administrations and inaugurations of three presidents: Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. She was one of only three American journalists to interview Prince Charles during his 1983 visit to the United States.

Lunden was known for her willingness to take risks in her role as host. She climbed and rappelled Alaska's famed Mendenhall Glacier and bungee-jumped off a 143-foot bridge and paraglided off a 2,000-foot mountain during the program's highly rated trip to New Zealand. She also navigated the whitewater rapids of a Georgia river for a GMA show in 1994. She has been at the controls of an F-16 jet and flown with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, as well as flown in a T-34 Naval flight training plane. She is also a skilled horsewoman, jumping thoroughbred horses, and also has gone to bat with the Chicago Cubs at spring training.

Hosting and other work[edit]

She was a host on the A&E cable network program Behind Closed Doors (originally aired on ABC as occasional primetime specials) (1996-2001) which was an on-location, undercover reporter program; she also frequently guest hosted A&E's Biography.

Lunden's most recent television shows include hosting DirectTV's series Hometown Heroes and the Emmy-winning special America’s Invisible Children. She is also the face of Murad's skincare line, Resurgence.

Lunden hosts Health Corner, a Lifetime series sponsored by Walgreens.[4]

Lunden is currently the official spokesperson for A Place for Mom, a national senior care referral service.[5]

Activities and honors[edit]

Lunden's dedication to family and civic responsibility have earned her numerous honors and awards, including the Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Yeshiva; National Women's Political Caucus Award; New Jersey Division of Civil Rights Award; Baylor University Outstanding Woman of the Year; and the YWCA Outstanding Woman's Award. The New York Women in Communications honored Lunden with a Matrix Award for her outstanding contributions to the broadcasting field. She was voted "Career Mother of the Year" by the National Institute of Infant Services and In 1982-83, honoring her dedication to motherhood, she was voted "Mother of the Year" by the National Mother's Day Committee. She has been a national spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Lunden hosted ABC's broadcast of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, from 1989 to 1991, and hosted the Walt Disney World Easter and Christmas Parades with Regis Philbin until the mid-90s.

In April 1991, Lunden was honored by New York Women in Communications with a Matrix Award for her "outstanding contributions to the broadcasting field." Lunden appeared as herself in a brief role in the 2006 film Thank You for Smoking. She also appeared on the cover of Woman's Day in 2004.

Lunden is involved in various personal projects such as her Camp Reveille, a summer weekend getaway for women of all ages in Naples, Maine.

Lunden is on the board of PassportMD, an online personal health record system (that uses Microsoft HealthVault) which allows families to maintain and organize their family health records.

Personal life[edit]

Lunden was married to Michael A. Krauss from 1978 until their divorce in 1992; the couple have three daughters: Jamie Beryl Krauss, born July 4, 1980;[6] Lindsay Leigh Krauss (born 1983); and Sarah Emily Krauss (born 1987). Lunden converted to Judaism when marrying Krauss.[7][8][9] She married Jeff Konigsberg on April 18, 2000; they have four children: two sets of twins, each consisting of one boy and one girl, Max and Kate,[10] born on June 10, 2003, and Jack and Kimberly, born on March 1, 2005.[citation needed] The two sets of twins were born with the help of a surrogate mother, and Lunden has become a spokeswoman for surrogacy.[11]

Books[edit]

  • Growing up Healthy: Protecting your child now through Adulthood
  • Joan Lunden's Healthy Living
  • Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking
  • Wake Up Calls: Making the Most Out of Every Day (Regardless of What Life Throws You) - ISBN 0-07-136126-X
  • A Bend in the Road is not the End of the Road: 10 Positive Principles For Dealing With Change - ISBN 0-688-16083-2
  • Mother's Minutes
  • Your Newborn Baby
  • Good Morning I'm Joan Lunden
  • Exercise Video: Workout America

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Sandy Hill as David Hartman's co-host from 1977 to 1980
Good Morning America co-host
August 28, 1980–September 5, 1997
with David Hartman from August 28, 1980 to February 20, 1987, and Charles Gibson from February 23, 1987 to September 5, 1997
Succeeded by
Lisa McRee as Charles Gibson's co-host from 1997 to 1998