Dr. Fauci 'In Awe' of Wife Dr. Christine Grady: 'She Did Three Things While I Was Doing One'

In his new book, 'On Call,' the doctor recounts how he and his wife juggled parenthood and demanding medical careers

<p>Fauci/ Grady Collection</p> Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady running a marathon in 1984

Fauci/ Grady Collection

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady running a marathon in 1984

He may have more name recognition, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not shy about shouting out his wife Dr. Christine Grady’s accomplishments. Fauci, 83, writes about their relationship and how they balanced raising a family with their high-stress jobs in his new memoir, On Call: A Doctor’s Journey in Public Service. The pair sat down with PEOPLE for this week’s print issue.

Fauci and Grady met in 1983 at the National Institutes of Health, where they were working with AIDS patients. They married in 1985 and had three daughters. In their younger years, the couple ran marathons together to de-stress — though Grady left Fauci in the dust more than once.

As they rose to prominence in their fields, the couple’s overlapping interest in medicine — Grady is a bioethicist at the NIH — was “really great” for their relationship, Grady tells PEOPLE.

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'On Call' by Dr. Anthony Fauci
'On Call' by Dr. Anthony Fauci

“That overlap allows discussions about substantive issues that you couldn't have with somebody who didn't understand what you were talking about,” Grady says. “There were a lot of interests that we could discuss in our non-work hours, which I think helped me to understand a lot of the science, and hopefully helped him think about things from other perspectives.”

Related: Dr. Anthony Fauci's 'Brooklyn Tough' Attitude Got Tested Early On: Read an Excerpt from His New Memoir (Exclusive)

While Fauci went on to serve as the director of the NIAID for four decades and guide public policy on HIV/AIDS, SARS, MERS, avian influenza, swine flu, Zika and Ebola, Grady excelled in a demanding career of her own.

As her husband says, “she did three things while I was doing one.”

“We have an equal partnership but, given the intensity of my work, the fact is, I've I've been in awe of Chris for a long time, particularly where she did things that were professionally self-sacrificing without diminishing the fact that she emerged into somebody who's at the very, very top of her field,” Fauci says. He notes that his wife never missed their kids' Brownie troop meetings or sports games — even while working and going to school herself.

Related: How Dr. Fauci Made Peace with Fierce Critics — AIDS Activists — and Befriended a Former ‘Nemesis’ (Exclusive)

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Grady adds that she “really wanted to be with the kids,” but that juggling work and family often fell to her under their schedules.

“I wanted to be with the kids. I wanted to spend as much time as I could, but I also wanted to continue to have a career,” she says. “Knowing that the demands on Tony's time were always much greater than mine, a lot of that fell to me. But it was pretty much a partnership from the beginning.”

Mutual respect, support — Fauci calls Grady “overwhelmingly my support system” — and a little healthy competition has kept that partnership strong. “I was one of five kids, and there was a lot of competition, and my father was very competitive,” Grady explains. “So I learned from an early age, you gotta fight for what you want. You know you gotta be competitive [but] it was all in good faith and fun.”

On Call: A Doctor's Journey in Public Service is on sale now, wherever books are sold.

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