Tamron Hall is many things, including an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in her field, a red carpet slayer, and an activist and philanthropist. And she’s accumulated enough accolades to prove her talent. She’s been hard at work for decades now, bringing the truth into America’s living rooms with unflinching yet compassionate honesty. And boy, does she look good doing it!
Despite appearing so natural on the small screen and at high-profile award shows, Hall hasn’t always known the star-studded world in which she currently lives. She’s come a long way from her humble upbringing in a small town in Texas. And over the years, she has seen and done some amazing things.
So, what is it that keeps this journalist ticking? How did she rise to the top of the broadcasting field, and what has she learned along the way? Read on to learn all about the stunning transformation of Tamron Hall.
Texas born and bred
When it comes to origin stories, Hall’s is as humble as they come. She didn’t come from a family of means who lived in a wealthy area — quite the opposite actually. "I was born in Luling, Texas — which is an incredibly small town, population I think like a thousand, if that — and I grew up very, very poor," she recalled in an interview with Digital Journal. "Our entertainment was a water hose and spraying it at each other running around."
In an interview with Talks at Google, Hall shared that her grandfather only had a second grade education, as he had to work to support the family at a young age, and that she was born to a single mother. She also explained that Luling didn’t have paved roads until the 1980s, so clearly there was not a lot of money available to the town.
But rather than bemoan her low-income home life, Hall is grateful for the experience it gave her. "It was a great childhood — a childhood that I would not trade for anything in the world," she told Digital Journal.
Her parents nurtured her ambition
Hall’s background may be exceedingly humble, but that didn’t stop the people in her life from nurturing her ambitions. "I was always raised in an environment where I was surrounded by strong women — really, really strong women," she revealed in a Talks at Google interview. Hall also had her grandfather’s support and — eventually — the love of a stepfather, whom she views as the father she was meant to have. She really had a lot of people in her corner!
Because of the support of those around her, Hall was able to thrive. "They were just really salt of the earth people who never let me believe that winning wasn’t an option," she continued. So whether it was running track or playing clarinet, Hall’s family always believed that she could be the best, and their encouragement helped shape her into the woman she is today.
Education was also super important to her parents, who made sure she finished college — even when she had a viable job offer waiting for her. "My dad said I had to finish school, that I could not take the job until I graduated," she added. Clearly, that wound up working out. Good job, pops!
"Give me a microphone, point to the camera and we’ll get it done"
Once she was finished with her education and no longer a college student, Hall hit the ground running and started working right away. Her first job out of college was at KBTX in Bryan, Texas, where she was a reporter, according to her MSNBC biography. After that, she spent four years at KTVT in Dallas as a reporter, before later moving onto a ten-year stint at WFLD in Chicago in 1997, where she held a variety of positions. "I’ve interviewed every celebrity chef there is," she joked in an interview with Variety. "Give me a microphone, point to the camera and we’ll get it done." Hall was also nominated for an Emmy award for her consumer report segment, "The Bottom Line." Talk about talented!
Those early years of experience set Hall up for success and helped her grow as a journalist. "I don’t need big packets of information, I don’t have to have a teleprompter," she noted in her Variety interview. "It’s just the training I’ve had over the years." Clearly, she’s developed some serious on-the-ground skills.
Facing unspeakable tragedy
In 2004, an unspeakable tragedy occurred. After enduring years of domestic abuse with multiple men, Tamron Hall’s sister Renate was found beaten to death in the pool in the backyard of her Texas home, according to People magazine. "No one deserves what happened to my sister," Hall shared.
No arrest was ever made in the case of Renate’s death due to a lack of evidence. But Hall had witnessed the man who was later named as the only person of interest be violent toward her late sister before. "Do we know who did this to her as defined by a court of law? No," she continued. "But I can tell you I witnessed an act of violence and there were only two other people in that room." What a horrific experience this all had to have been.
It took a long time for Hall to let go of the guilt that plagued her for the way she handled things with her sister when she was alive. "All the things I’ve learned now are wrong [from domestic abuse advocates], I did them all," she added. It wasn’t until later that she was able to talk about it publicly.
Getting hired at NBC
After working for a decade and a half on local stations in Texas and Chicago, Ill., Hall landed a gig at MSNBC in 2007, according to her MSNBC profile. She held a variety of positions at the network, including anchoring NewsNation, hosting Dateline, covering the 2012 London Olympics, and hosting the NBC News special The Inauguration of Barack Obama. The latter won an Emmy for outstanding live coverage in October 2010 — congrats, Tamron!
Additionally in 2013, Hall signed on with Investigation Discovery to host Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall. The show dove deep into true crime stories, something obviously near and dear to Hall’s heart, trying to understand the motives of those who commit crime — and to see if justice was served. "I think the show is consistent with a lot of what you see on Discovery (ID), and they are just intrigued and really pulled in by real life drama and real life crime," she noted in an interview with TheGrio. That’s some intense stuff right there!
She was the first black woman on Today
The year 2014 proved to be a major one for Hall, as she made history as the first black woman to become an anchor on the Today show. And as you might expect, Hall was ecstatic. "How could I not be walking on cloud nine?" she asked in a 2014 interview with Essence. "I’m a part of this for women, for Black women, for all of us. And I’m just taken aback by it."
While Hall acknowledges how amazing it is to be the person who broke this barrier, she hopes people have some nuance to their perspective on it, too. "While it is an incredible honor to have the description of being the first African-American woman on The Today Show, it’s not the total sum of my experience," she reflected in a 2014 interview with Digital Journal. "I don’t want it to be the total sum of who I am." Clearly, with all that’s she’s accomplished in her career, there’s so much more to her than this one milestone — even if it’s a huge one!
Crusading against domestic violence
The year 2014 also marked a momentous time for Hall for another reason. Because of her personal, heart-wrenching experience with domestic violence, Hall decided that she wanted to do something. "My sister’s case has led me to focus a lot of my attention on domestic violence," she shared in an interview with TheGrio. She added, "My journey to speak out on domestic violence was based on conversations that I had with my sister." What a seriously brave and admirable thing to do. Tamron, we have nothing but respect for you!
That year, Hall launched her Shine a Light initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence. "Our goal is to produce a PSA that can be shown to girls and boys in school, at camp, at church and after-school events," she penned in an article for the Today show, noting, "The focus is to show them that love doesn’t have to hurt and what is the right and wrong way to love." In this way, kids can learn early on how to recognize domestic violence.
This means "everything" to her
For as much as Tamron Hall has grown and evolved throughout her life, one things has always remained constant for her: her faith. "It’s everything to me, because we face things that we cannot explain," she shared in an interview with Good Morning Texas. "I’m able to step out on faith because I believe I am protected." So no matter where she is or what she does, she knows she’s not alone.
Faith also gives Hall a genuine sense of purpose in her life. "I believe that God is watching me, and my mother reminds me all the time, ‘God did not bring you this far to let you go,’" she continued. "So whatever the unknown variable is, I believe that God is taking care of it, and I’m meant to learn a lesson from it, but it is not meant to break me." What a really thoughtful and comforting way to move through life.
About her Today show exit
Everyone on Team Tamron was crestfallen when her departure from the Today show was announced in 2017. The news came less than a week after NBC made public that they would be replacing Hall’s hour on the show, which she co-anchored with Al Roker, with a program hosted by Megyn Kelly (via People). The decision to replace two successful black co-anchors with a white journalist who’s been criticized for her offensive remarks about people of color in the past was met with ire by the National Association of Black Journalists, who accused NBC of whitewashing. Kelly has since been let go from Megyn Kelly Today for offensive remarks about donning blackface, as reported by NBC News.
But despite what people might have speculated, Hall was neither full of rage over what happened nor unable to get over Kelly’s apparent takeover of her Today show hour. "I did not leave NBC with ‘grrrr’ anger," she explained in an interview with Variety. "Was there disappointment? Absolutely. Do I feel phenomenal today? Absolutely." That’s proof that Hall is a class act at all times, and she’s since simply moved on to the next opportunity.
She gave Harvey Weinstein a talking to
In 2017, just three months before The New York Times published an article about movie producer Harvey Weinstein‘s alleged sexual misconduct that helped spur the #MeToo movement into high gear, Hall had signed a contract with The Weinstein Co. for a talk show. However, when she found out about the allegations against the now-disgraced executive, she was horrified. "It’s a woman’s worst nightmare to be in a situation where you believe someone more powerful has control over your life," she stated in an interview with HuffPost. "I immediately thought about the women who have suffered in silence and were paralyzed by fear; fear that I’ve seen with domestic violence survivors; fear that I’ve seen when I interviewed women who were raped on their college campuses." So you know Hall was livid about what she had learned in the Times‘ article and the stories that came out afterwards.
In fact, Hall was apparently so furious that she picked up the phone and called Weinstein at five o’clock in the morning to confront him about the allegations with a "take no prisoners" approach, and Weinstein apologized to her and told her she needed help.
She’s proud of who she is
In a 2018 interview with Black Enterprise, Hall discussed an unpleasant encounter she had on social media. "I try never to get into Twitter fights — I just don’t have the temperament for them… but I said the other day in an interview that I am unapologetically black," she shared. "I’m not anti-anyone but I am certainly proud of the Southern black people who raised me." However, not everyone apparently felt positively about Hall’s statement and they took to social media to let her know just how they felt. "So on Twitter… this white male writer… someone I don’t know… says ‘Oh why’d you have to say that?’" she continued. "I said to him on Twitter, ‘First of all, why did that bother you?’"
Hall further elaborated on that sentiment, noting "It should never bother someone that you are unapologetically who you are." She added. "I am unapologetically Texan, Southern, a black woman — I come from my culture, but I am inclusive." Sounds like she shut him right down!
She’s taking time to smell the roses
As Hall has gotten older, she’s realized that, while she’s been very successful in her career, there are a few things she’d like to spend more time appreciating. "I’ve been on TV since I was 18 … and I never truly stopped to smell the roses because I was always looking for the next garden," she shared in an interview with Talks at Google. In fact, her hustle kept her so busy that she was once worked three separate gigs at the same time! Given that info, it makes sense that she hasn’t been able to appreciate other aspects of her life. She hasn’t had time!
So Hall is making sure to slow things down a little bit and is attempting to cultivate a life outside of work. "It’s like I’m stopping to smell the flowers and the garden, and individually what they mean for my life," she shared. "We all owe it to ourselves, ultimately, to stop and smell the roses."
She’s married! And pregnant!
Tamron Hall blew up Instagram in 2019 with a double announcement. She posted a video and a picture of herself on the social media platform, revealing that she’s pregnant! "I’ve wanted to share this news for many months and now finally my doctor has said I am in a safe place, at 32 weeks, to share my joy with y’all," she wrote in the caption. "So, it’s clear a daytime talk show isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to produce!" Check out her visible pregnancy glow, which has her looking more beautiful than ever. Stunning!
But Hall wasn’t done sharing news, as, in the same post as her photo showing off her baby bump, she revealed that she’s married. "My husband Steven and I are beyond excited," she noted. She then asked her followers for prayers and good energy, and she assured fans that she would have more to share when the baby arrives. We can’t wait for her to welcome her bundle of joy!
This is what the future holds
So, what’s next for Tamron Hall with everything that’s been going on in her life? You guessed it — she’s finally getting a new show! "When one door closes…(say it with me) another one opens! @disney just announced that my nationally syndicated daytime talk show ‘Tamron Hall’ will premiere on 9-9-19!" she gushed in a post on her Instagram page. It’s about time!
And that’s not all either, as she’s also making some big moves. "I am also proud to share that I will serve as an Executive Producer on our new show, alongside legendary producer Bill Geddie!" How exciting! She’s finally going to truly be the master of her own destiny.
Geddie has expressed his excitement about the venture, too. "Everyone will learn what I already know, that Tamron Hall is the real thing we’ve been searching for in daytime talk," he shared in an interview with Broadway World. "Tamron will bring her abundant wit, style, intelligence and warmth to her show. She has the unparalleled breadth of experience to talk and listen to all sides and bring folks together." What an exciting time in Hall’s life!