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Today's Craig Melvin details heartbreaking personal journey with father's addiction

The TV host delivered a candid message

today show savannah guthrie
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
June 15, 2022
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Craig Melvin is a much-loved Today show host but things haven't always been easy for him. 

The star has opened up about his traumatic childhood and challenging battle with his father's addiction in his past and now he's sharing more for an important cause. 

MORE: Craig Melvin takes on exciting project away from Today 

Craig spoke with Kindred by Parents - a new digital destination and community dedicated to Black families which launched on 15 June  - and opened up about his difficult past and how he's finally been able to move forward.

WATCH: Today's Craig Melvin discusses his dad's battle with alcoholism (Credit: Kindred by Parents)

"My father was technically, and still is an addict," he told Editorial Director Kelly Glass. "He has been for most of his life. Several years ago after an incident we decided as a family to try to get him some help."

Craig continued: "We had tried it before and failed miserably because, for a large part, we didn't know what we were doing. We sort of bullied him into getting some help.

Craig Melvin Opens Up About His Father’s Struggles With Addiction in New Book ‘Pops’ | Kindred

Craig opened up about the difficult battle in his new book

"The last time we tried, we enlisted a professional who knew what she was doing. Low and behold, it stuck. My dad has been alcohol free now for three years, if not more. This is no small feat considering he had been a functional alcoholic and a not so functional alcoholic for the better part of half a century."

The father-of-two - who previously shared details of his agony in his book Pops: Learning to be a Father and a Son - confessed that he used to be "angry and annoyed the whole time".

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It wasn't until he had his own children, started therapy and altered his perception of his dad, that he could begin to forgive.

View post on Instagram

Craig wants to have the very best relationship with his children after a difficult one with his own father

"I came to see addiction for what it was, a disease, a sickness and a weakness. It changed, the way I saw my dad." 

Talking of his book, Craig said: "I wrote the book to help people and I wanted my father to know that all was forgiven. I wanted to tell him that he had inspired me. He's still hard on himself. But through his own story, he's doing so much good, too." 

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Craig has two young children and insists that the way they live is very different from his own upbringing. 

View post on Instagram

Craig Melvin is also thankful for his Today show family 

"Growing up we only hugged on a special occasion. A graduation, a birthday," but he lavishes his family with love and cuddles as often as humanly possible. 

He admitted that his relationship with his father - before he got sober - was like "a cold war". 

"We spoke once a month, maybe," he admitted. "But it wasn't the kind of relationship I wanted my son to see. It was important to me, that my kids came to know my parents, their grandfather. 

"I regret not trying to help more aggressively sooner, but I wasn't in the place to give it and he wasn't in the place to receive it."

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