She’s a hard-working, incredibly talented journalist with a sense of humor and a thirst for adventure. Here’s what we’ve enjoyed most about Ann Curry over her last 14 years with TODAY, and what we look forward to in the years to come.
She is a passionate (and compassionate) reporter
Ann takes us to the far reaches of the world to shed light on the plight of people facing humanitarian crises after natural disasters or violent conflict. She’s reported from Darfur, Sudan, five times and was the first network anchor to report on the refugee crisis caused by genocide in Kosovo. More recently, she was one of the first reporters in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
She’s harnessed the power of social media to help others
With more than a million Twitter followers, Ann is able to make waves with her messages. In 2010, Ann sent out a tweet that helped get much-needed aid and medical attention to people in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Twitter named that message the most powerful tweet of 2010. After monitoring Twitter, Ann also helped find an American schoolteacher missing in Japan after the 2011 tsunami, reuniting her with her family in the U.S. Follow Ann on Twitter
She has a wildly adventurous spirit
Ann completed an arduous trek to the South Pole, attempted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and bungee-jumped off a bridge in England to help raise money for charity. And all that is just the tip of the iceberg. She even helped make one viewer’s dream of sky diving come true -- and she took the plunge right along with him!
She can interview anyone
From rogue world leaders like Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney to newsmakers like Nadya Suleman, there’s no one that Ann is afraid to interview. Her style of balancing tough questions with empathy has led to reporting that’s in-depth and helps viewers really understand the story. “The only time I saw Ann kind of flummoxed was when she was with Elmo,” Al Roker said. That leads us to No. 6 ...
Elmo loves her
Some say he’s the most lovable Muppet, so his love of Ann speaks volumes. “Roses are red, violets are blue, Elmo loves the TODAY Show and Miss Ann Curry too,” the red Muppet said on TODAY. Elmo once asked her for a kiss, and when she obliged, he was all over her. “Elmo kind of gave her a hickey,” said Al.
She's shown what hard work can accomplish
Ann was the first in her family to attend college, and after graduating from the University of Oregon in 1978, she got an internship at KTVL, a station in Medford, Ore. “When I applied to be a reporter, the producer told me there’d never been a woman reporter in the newsroom because women didn’t have news judgment,” she told Guideposts magazine. Ann, whose father was a military serviceman and whose mom was the daughter of a rice farmer in Japan, says that her family taught her that such obstacles would make her stronger. They were right; with good old-fashioned elbow grease, she worked her way up to become the station’s first female reporter.
She’s a talented photographer
Ann balances her incredibly busy work schedule and family life by taking time out for her passion – photography. "All of us can find peace even in the chaos of our own lives if we can find that one thing we care so much about that it helps us breathe more deeply," Ann explained. "For me, it’s taking pictures." She’s captured incredibly moving photos from her travels around the world, including Haiti. Her photos from Sudan were featured in an exhibit called “Exposing Darfur” and she also contributed a photo to an interactive exhibit called “Streets of Afghanistan.”
She’s got some lovely locks
We’ve seen Ann’s hair evolve over the years, from super-short bob to shag to long and lustrous to the medium cut she sports now. In true Ann style, she even grew her hair out and chopped it off to donate to Locks of Love. Through it all, one thing that’s remained constant is that her mane is always shiny and stylish, even when she’s in conditions that aren’t conducive to good hair. Check out this slideshow of her years at TODAY and watch the clip below to look back at some of her many hairstyles:
Viewer pick: She has a wicked sense of humor
There's more to Ann than the serious, seasoned journalist. From strutting her stuff like Tina Turner and Cher to chest-bumping interns and singing along with an improv troupe, Ann is hilarious. Her imitation of her immigrant mother always gets laughs, and she’s even performed a routine at comedy club Caroline’s in New York City. “I love that she has a sense of humor about herself (she doesn't take herself too seriously),” writes viewer Carol Krim.
Viewer pick: She’s down-to-earth
Several viewers noted that they love Ann for being genuine, caring and down-to-earth. And we can confirm that Ann is really that nice in person! Viewer Missy Poss Davis put it best: “Ann Curry seems like someone you can just sit around with and talk to or go on an adventure with and have great fun. I've watched her for years and she almost seems like part of my family. She seems so down to earth and so kind. Just love her. I think Ann, Matt, & Al are going to make a perfect team.”