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Gayle King CBS Mornings

Exclusive: Tony Dokoupil praises 'cool grandma' Gayle King, reveals how she mentors his kids

Gayle is mom to two children with her ex-husband 

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
June 17, 2024
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Gayle King has been praised by her CBS Mornings co-anchors for fostering a welcoming environment – and being the coolest auntie to their kids. 

For over 10 years Gayle has been the morning welcome for TV viewers across the nation, but for Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson and Vladimir Duthiers, Gayle is also helping them to raise their own children, with Nate calling her the "biggest supporter and encourager of all people". 

"Gayle is as cool as it gets. She’ll give you auntie vibes, older sister vibes, mama vibes, all of it," he tells HELLO! of the 69-year-old who is mom to two children, Kirby, 38, and William, 38, and grandmother to Kirby's son Luca.

CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson, with CBS Mornings and CBS News Streaming Network Anchor and Correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers© CBS Photo Archive
CBS Mornings host Gayle with Tony, Nate and Vladimir

"Gayle is also a cool grandma. Gayle’s the most natural person on TV, and the person she is on camera is exactly who she is off camera," adds Tony. 

"Goofy, always quick with a question, not afraid to go there and you know she always loves you and cares about you. It's amazing watching, particularly my older kids, become adults around her. She treats everybody with such respect that they kind of lift themselves up and meet her at her level, which is beautiful. They kind of grow up around her." 

cbs tony dokoupil family
Tony and Katy are parents to two

Gayle also gifted Vlad and his wife Marian "some of the best gifts" when they welcomed their daughter Celine in 2016.

"Some of the best gifts we got when Céline was born came from auntie Gayle, including some that Céline is finally growing into, like the beautiful, solid wood rocking chair with her name on it that she is now obsessed with, every morning before school she gets up and sits in," he says. 

Tony Dokoupil, Marian Wang, Vladimir Duthiers, Gayle King and Nate Burleson pose on the CBS Mornings set with Vlad's newborn daughter Celine© Vladimir Duthiers
Tony, Marian Wang, Vladimir, Gayle and Nate pose on the CBS Mornings set with Vlad's newborn daughter Celine

Their love for Gayle is clear: "She just wants people to win, and she is so darn good at her job," continues Nate, who has been on the show with Gayle and Tony since 2021. 

"[Gayle is] one of the most intelligent, passionate, empathetic, people that I know, and it's no surprise how successful she has been and how influential she has been in young people's careers. Her fingerprints are everywhere in this industry. She does so much that she doesn't get credit for. That’s another thing about Gayle. She wants everyone to elevate, evolve and grow, and she does whatever she can to help with that and she doesn't do it because she wants a pat on the back. She does it because she's sincere about it.” 

Nate Burleson with wife Atoya, daughter Mia and son Nehemiah at Mia's eighth grade graduation© Nate Burleson
Nate with wife Atoya, daughter Mia and son Nehemiah at Mia's eighth grade graduation

Tony, who is dad to four children - two teens in Israel with his ex-wife and two young children with wife Katy Tur - also had praise for Nate, who is dad to three teens, Nate II, Nehemiah, 18, and Mia, 14. 

"With my 14-year-old, he won't talk to me, he'll be grumbly, he'll be the classic, hoodie-wearing, teenager," says Tony.

"And I'll say, 'Look, you're gonna be with my colleagues at this event, all right? I need you to be on good behavior.' And I'll get a grunt in response. But then he'll see Nate, and they’ll fist bump, and then there will be a whole conversation and telling stories. Nate's laughing, and I'm like, 'Who is this person? Who's this child of mine?'"

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