Natalie Morales

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This article is about a journalist. For the actress of the same name, see Natalie Morales (actress).
Natalie Morales
Natalie Morales US Navi 2011 NewYork.jpg
Morales in 2011
Born Natalie Leticia Morales
(1972-10-06) October 6, 1972 (age 44)
Taipei, Taiwan
Alma mater Rutgers University (B.A.)
Occupation Journalist
Years active 1994–present
Notable credit(s) Today co-anchor and national correspondent (2006–2011)
Today news anchor and third hour co-anchor (2011–2016)
Today West Coast anchor (2016–present)
Access Hollywood host (2016–present)
Spouse(s) Joseph Rhodes (m. 1998)
Children 2
Website Today: Natalie Morales

Natalie Morales-Rhodes[1] (born Natalie Leticia Morales; October 6, 1972) is an American journalist working for NBC News. She is the Today Show West Coast anchor and appears on other programs including Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News.

In August 2016, after the Rio Summer Olympics, Morales moved to Los Angeles where she became TODAY Show West Coast anchor in addition to replacing Billy Bush as host of Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live. She will continue as a correspondent for Dateline.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Morales was born in Taiwan, to a Brazilian mother, Penelope, and a Puerto Rican father, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Morales, Jr.[3] She speaks Spanish and Portuguese and spent the first eighteen years of her life living in America and overseas in Panama, Brazil, and Spain as a "U.S. Air Force brat".

Morales holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University with dual majors in journalism and Latin American studies.[4] She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Summa Cum Laude.[5]


Following college, Morales worked at Chase Bank in New York before pursuing her journalism career.

Morales served as a weekend anchor/reporter and morning co-anchor at WVIT-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, where she reported on the Columbine shootings, Hurricane Floyd, the 2000 Presidential election and the September 11, 2001 attacks. She also co-hosted and reported for the Emmy-nominated documentary, Save Our Sound, a joint production with WNBC on preserving the Long Island Sound. She began her on-air career at News 12 – The Bronx as the first morning anchor. She also served as camera operator, editor and producer for that network. In 1999, she was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Latinas for her news coverage and reports by the Hispanic daily newspaper El Diario La Prensa. Previously, Morales spent two years working behind the scenes at Court TV.

Morales was an anchor and correspondent for MSNBC from 2002 to 2006. She covered a number of major news stories there including the 2004 Presidential election, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, the Iraqi prisoner abuse, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks and the investigation and trial of Scott Peterson. Additionally, she was named one of Hispanic Magazine’s Top Trendsetters of 2003.

Morales joined the Today show in 2006 as a national correspondent,[6] and was named co-anchor of the third hour of the show in March 2008.[4][7] On May 9, 2011, it was announced that Morales would replace Ann Curry as the news anchor for Today, when Curry succeeded Meredith Vieira as host of Today in June 2011.[8]

In 2007, she received the "Groundbreaking Latina in Media" award from Catalina magazine and the National Association of Latina Leaders. People en Español named her one of its Fifty Most Beautiful People for 2007. She came in at #1.

Aside from her journalistic duties, Morales was the co-anchor of NBC's coverage of the Macy's July 4 fireworks spectacular.

She appeared on NBC's The Marriage Ref as the fact checker, and hosted Miss USA 2010 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and Miss Universe 2010 at Mandalay Bay, both in Las Vegas. Morales hosted Miss Universe 2011 at Credicard Hall in São Paulo, Brazil and hosted Miss Universe 2014 in Doral, Florida.

Morales appeared in Blue Sky's Rio 2 as a newscaster on April 2014.

She appeared as herself in the 2015 TV film, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and the 2016 follow-up, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.

Personal life[edit]

Morales married Joseph Rhodes on August 22, 1998.[5] They have two sons and now reside in the Los Angeles, California neighborhood of Brentwood after residing in Hoboken, New Jersey from 2002 to 2016.[9] She took a four-month maternity leave from the Today between September and December 2008 to give birth to her second son in September 2008.[10] She is an avid runner, having competed in five marathons, including three New York City Marathons. Morales also participates in triathlons.[11] She has been featured in a full-length article and on the cover of the October 2010 issue of Triathlete Magazine.[12]


  1. ^ "TODAY anchors show their driver's license photos". Today. NBC News. September 21, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2013. [dead link]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Romano, Allison (November 19, 2007). "Natalie Morales: Fast Riser". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Natalie Morales". Today. NBC News. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "WEDDINGS; Natalie Morales, Joseph Rhodes". The New York Times. August 23, 1998. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "NBC names Morales as 'Today' correspondent". USA Today. April 19, 2006. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Kathie Lee Gifford joins fourth hour of TODAY". Today. NBC News. March 31, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ Thielman, Sam (May 9, 2011). "'Today' sets new anchor lineup". Variety. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Having it all: Anchor and Hoboken resident Natalie Morales reflects on motherhood, juggling family and career and the birth of her son", Hudson Reporter, May 17, 2005. Retrieved June 29, 2012. Archived September 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Grant, Amanda (November 19, 2009). "Today Show's Natalie Morales: Hooked On Triathlon". Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Super Administrator (September 9, 2010). "Behind The Scenes With Natalie Morales". Retrieved February 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Billy Bush and Claudia Jordan
Hosts of Miss Universe with Bret Michaels
Succeeded by
Giuliana Rancic
Hosts of Miss Universe with Andy Cohen