The TODAY family has a new member. Co-host Meredith Vieira delivered the happy news Wednesday morning that Natalie Morales had given birth to her second son, Luke Morales-Rhodes.
“We have some great news to report,” Vieira announced at the start of the 8 a.m. hour. “Our family here at TODAY just got a little bit bigger because Natalie gave birth yesterday to a baby boy.”
As a picture of the radiant mom and her cute-as-a-button new son was displayed on a monitor, the TODAY cast erupted into a chorus of “awwwws.”
“Look at him!” Vieira exclaimed as all agreed that Luke, who arrived one week ahead of schedule and weighed in at a robust 7 pounds, 4 ounces, is as cute as babies get.
“And, he’s sleeping,” noted Al Roker.
It is the second child for the 36-year-old Morales and her husband of 10 years, investment consultant Joe Rhodes. Their firstborn, Josh, is 4.
Little Luke is the second addition to the TODAY family this year; celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis gave birth to her first child, Jade Marie De Laurentiis Thompson, on March 31.
Morales was 12 weeks pregnant when she shared the happy news on TODAY March 6. She said at the time that she and Rhodes had been attempting to add another child to the family for a while. “We had been trying for a long time … Most people think you can just decide to have a child, but it just doesn’t work that way,” she quipped.
She said she knew she was pregnant when she was struck by an overwhelming craving for a cheeseburger. That was the same food she craved when she was pregnant with Josh.
A self-described Air Force brat, Morales was born in Taiwan to Penelope Morales and Lt. Col. Mario Morales Jr. and spent the first 18 years of her life living on military posts in Panama, Brazil and Spain.
Morales is a summa cum laude graduate of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, with degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She began her on-air career on a local station in Brooklyn and worked at NBC’s Hartford affiliate, WVIT, before moving to MSNBC, where she was an anchor and a correspondent. She joined TODAY as its national correspondent in February 2006.
While working for TODAY and MSNBC, she has contributed to NBC News’ coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, as well as several major breaking news stories including Hurricane Katrina and the recovery efforts; the tsunami disaster; the death of Pope John Paul II; the 2004 presidential election; Operation Iraqi Freedom; and the Columbia Shuttle explosion. Hispanic Magazinenamed her one of the “Top Hispanics to Watch” in 2005 and one of the “Top Trendsetters” of 2003.