Who Is Lester Holt's Wife? All About Carol Hagen

Carol Hagen and Lester Holt met while he was still a radio reporter

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen

NBC news anchor Lester Holt has had a long and impactful career as a reporter, and through it all, he's credited his wife, Carol Hagen, for being his rock.

The pair met when Carol was a flight attendant and Lester was a radio reporter in California, but shortly into their relationship, Lester was moving across the country to become a TV news reporter in New York City, and Carol was following him there.

Less than a year later, Carol and Lester got married in California, where they'd soon move back to follow another new gig for Lester. Despite the constant moving, they didn't hesitate to start a family when they were living together in Chicago. Together, they share two children: Stefan and Cameron.

When asked about the secret to their marriage, Lester had a simple answer: laughter.

"We laugh a lot, we really do. I can be silly, she can be sillier, and we just laugh through things," he told Extra.

So who is Lester Holt's wife? Here's everything to know about Carol Hagen and her relationship with the news anchor.

They spent one of their first dates covering a forest fire

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen

When Carol and Lester first started dating, he was working as a radio reporter at KCBS Radio in California. One day, while they were heading out on a date, Lester got called by his job, asking him to cover a breaking news story of a forest fire in the Napa Valley. Not wanting to cancel their date, Lester asked Carol if she'd accompany him.

"I thought, 'Wow, I've never been invited to go on a breaking news story before. A forest fire — that could be considered a hot date!' So I said, 'I'm game.' I guess I knew what I was getting myself into with Lester and his career," Carol told Sactown Mag.

Talking to Extra in 2015, Lester reflected on this aspect of his wife's support that's been present from the beginning.

"She understands that when the bell rings, I like to answer it, when the big story's going on, I want to be there," he said.

"I love her to death, she has been so wonderful, she knows this job is going to bring a lot of late-night phone calls, but she's there for me and that means an awful lot," he continued.

They got married in 1982

Kris Connor/FilmMagic Lester Holt and Carol Hagen
Kris Connor/FilmMagic Lester Holt and Carol Hagen

Carol and Lester wed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco on May 8, 1982, about two years after they'd started dating. They were both 23 years old.

They first met when Carol was working as a flight attendant at United Airlines, and after being laid off from the company in 1981, Carol followed Lester to New York when he was offered a job at WCBS, reporting on camera.

She continued to follow him on other cross-country moves in pursuit of different news reporting opportunities, from New York to Chicago to California, where they both hail from and where they got married.

They have two children together

Stefan Holt Instagram Carol Hagen with son Stefan Holt
Stefan Holt Instagram Carol Hagen with son Stefan Holt

Carol gave birth to her first son with Lester in 1987, five years after she and Lester got married. Stefan Holt was born in Chicago, where dad Lester was working for WBBM-TV at the time.

Stefan followed in his dad's footsteps, pursuing a career in journalism. He studied broadcast journalism and political science at Pepperdine University, graduating in 2009, and began his career in Florida as a weekend anchor and reporter for WPBF-TV. He currently works at NBC 5 Chicago, where he anchors the nightly news broadcast on weeknights.

On Take Your Kid to Work Day in 2017, Lester brought Stefan with him to work at NBC in NYC — but it was actually Stefan's workplace at the time, too!

"Yep. On my toes hoping for another inch. But alas busted by the photo. Stefan used to come to the studio with me when he was a kid. Blessed to have him working right near me as an adult in the same building!" Lester captioned a photo of him and his son in the newsroom.

On Mother's Day 2022, Stefan shared an old photo of himself being held by Carol, with the caption: "I love you Mom! #happymothersday #mom".

A few years after Stefan was born, Lester and Carol welcomed their second son, Cameron.

Cameron graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a B.S. in mathematical and computational science. He also earned a master's degree in management science and engineering at Stanford in 2013. He currently works as an executive director at Morgan Stanley in New York.

When Cameron was hospitalized for nearly a month with a collapsed lung, Lester was by his side before and after broadcasts.

"We'd have dinner together in hospital chairs eating off paper plates," Carol told Sactown Magazine. "All of this was going on, and he would just show up to work and be rock steady. Now I don't mean to be bragging, but he's just that type of guy. He's a calm guy under pressure."

In September 2020, Stefan shared a throwback photo of himself and Cameron being walked to school by their dad.

"Not sure the year here, but this looks like an early autumn day walking to school in Lincoln Park. Brother on the right. Dad walking the family Old English Sheepdog," he wrote alongside the photo, which showed him and his brother in T-shirts, shorts and sneakers, while dad Lester looked sharp in a denim button-up shifts, slacks and a tie.

They're grandparents to three grandkids

Stefan Holt Instagram Stefan Holt and his sons
Stefan Holt Instagram Stefan Holt and his sons

Carol and Lester became grandparents on Sept. 5, 2017, when their grandson Henry was born to Stefan and his wife, Morgan.

On June 5, 2019, Stefan and Morgan welcomed their second son, Samuel.

Stefan used some news reporter humor when he announced that he and his wife were expecting their third child, posting a photo of sons Henry and Samuel holding a sonogram, captioned: "Breaking News: Henry and Sam are excited to welcome their baby brother this fall. And they're even helping us with names 😂".

He and wife Morgan welcomed their third son James on Sept. 25, 2021.

Henry seems to want to keep the Holt tradition of news reporting going, or at least it looked like that when he visited dad Stefan at work in January 2023.

"Day off from school, he wanted to come to work with his old man," Stefan wrote alongside photos of Henry sitting with him at the news desk and touring the rest of the newsroom.

Lester noticed that Henry had been bit by the reporting bug, too, when Stefan shared photos of his at-home reporting setup during lockdown in 2020.

"It warmed my heart because it immediately made me think of a picture that was taken when I was an anchor in Chicago at the CBS station," Lester said, speaking to Jimmy Fallon on an at-home broadcast of his show in 2020. "One of them, I clearly saw he had the bug for the camera, and of course that's Stefan. It was really heartwarming to think back, I remember when you guys were little and we did pictures like that, and now there's my grandson."

As for what they call their grandma and grandpa, it seems that at least one of the grandparents has an unusual nickname: Grandude!

Lester posted a video on Instagram in February 2021 of Henry spotting him on TV and saying, "That's Grandude!"

"When a so so day becomes the best day ever. My 21 mo old grandson spotting me on TV tonight and finally able to clearly say 'Grandude!' " he captioned the video.

She's always supported Lester's career

Alex Wong/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen
Alex Wong/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen

Carol has been Lester's biggest supporter since the beginning of his broadcasting days, moving around the world to follow him to his different reporting gigs. But even when all of Lester's reporting was being done from home, Carol showed her support.

Speaking to Jimmy Fallon on his show in 2020, Lester credited Carol for arranging his at-home setup for reporting.

"She came in here, started arranging things — looks great, doesn't it?" Lester said, gesturing to the space around him. And that's not all. She also helped with the important task of keeping their dog Lucy quiet during Lester's news segments.

"My wife, along with being set director, lighting director and technical manager, is also the dog handler," Lester told Fallon.

"Let me tell you, in a few hours when I get ready to do the news, she becomes a hellion in this apartment," he added, holding his dog on his lap.

While Carol admires her husband's career, she says she fell in love with the man, not the TV star.

"I met him when he did radio, [and] I thought that was an interesting job," she told Sactown Magazine.

"The TV job is an interesting job, but at some point you retire, and you're not the TV guy anymore. And I fell in love with the guy who wasn't the TV guy. I fell in love with Lester Holt with the scanner in his car, running around and covering stories. He could stop doing TV right now, and it wouldn't matter to me."

She's a real estate agent

Ben Gabbe/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen
Ben Gabbe/Getty Lester Holt and wife Carol Hagen

Carol is an accomplished real estate agent who even worked on selling her and Lester's own New York City apartment in August 2017.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom loft located in Flatiron sold for $6.4 million, listed by Carol and Joann Wasserman of TOWN Residential.

The trendy loft featured an open kitchen with bluestone countertops and a built-in espresso machine, a terrace and an office/media room.

Carol has profiles on the home-selling and renting websites Zillow, StreetEasy and Realtor.com, which emphasize her sharp eye for detail and calming presence with clients.

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