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Gayle King and son Will Bumpus attend the New York premiere of Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself at the SVA Theater on September 8, 2009 in New York City© Getty

Gayle King looks unrecognizable in unseen family photos as she honors 'favorite son' Will's birthday

The CBS anchor has two kids with ex-husband William Bumpus

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
April 29, 2024
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It is a special day for Gayle King and her family, and she is taking fans on a trip down memory lane for it.

On Sunday, April 28, the CBS mainstay celebrated her "favorite son" William Bumpus Jr.'s 37th birthday with a round of touching throwback photos and a sweet family update.

The veteran news anchor has long referred to Will as her "favorite son," as he is in fact her only son with ex-husband William Bumpus, who she was married to from 1982 to 1993; the former couple also shares daughter Kirby Bumpus, who will be 38 on May 12.

In honor of Will's special day, Gayle took to Instagram and first left fans in awe as she shared an old photo featuring her son as a baby, which appears to have been taken shortly after his birth, as she appears in bed carrying a baby Will, and they're surrounded by celebratory baby blue balloons and flower arrangements.

She next shared some more pics of Will as a toddler, followed by some taken just this weekend that picture a smiling, dapper Will as he enjoyed his annual birthday lunch at Red Lobster, this year featuring his fiancée Elise Smith.

"37 years ago TODAY favorite son arrived! Now all 'growed' up," Gayle wrote, endearingly adding: "He's in love & engaged to spectacular @elisemariesmith & now she gets to enjoy his @redlobster birthday tradition! Cheddar biscuits for the win! Happy birthday Will!"

View post on Instagram

Fans and celebrity friends alike were then quick to take to the comments section under the post and wish Will a very happy birthday, with Rita Wilson writing: "What happiness!" as others followed suit with: "I know you're a very proud mama. Happy birthday Will!!" and: "That's too funny, favorite son Will's tradition. Happy birthday!!!" as well as: "OMG! What a cute little boy he was and handsome all 'growed' up! Happy birthday, Will."

MORE: Gayle King's weight loss secrets revealed as BFF Oprah Winfrey makes revelation about own transformation

MORE: Tony Dokoupil and Nate Burleson shock fans with head-turning new looks – see Gayle King's reaction

Will graduated from Duke University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Asian & Middle Eastern studies, and has previously worked for companies such as Perella Weinberg Partners, Sherpa Capital, Headspace, and Activision.

Photo shared by Gayle King on Instagram April 28, 2024, of her son Will Bumpus celebrating his 37th birthday with his fiancée Elise Smith© Instagram
Will has celebrated his birthday at Red Lobster since he was eight years old

In 2017, he graduated with a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University, and today is a partner at Westbound Equity Partners, a venture capital firm forced on "underrepresented founders."

MORE: Gayle King hops across to rival network to support famous friend

Still from a video shared by Gayle King on Instagram in February of 2024 announcing her son Will Bumpus' engagement to Elise Smith© Instagram
Gayle checking out her soon-to-be daughter-in-law's engagement ring after the proposal

Though both he and his soon-to-be wife Elise stay largely out of the spotlight and don't have public Instagram accounts, Gayle announced their engagement this past February with an effusive Instagram post of her own.

MORE: Gayle King and Charles Barkley launching new primetime show with CNN: 'Kindness always works'

Gayle King with her children Kirby and Will Bumpus at the CBS News, CBSN, and Atlantic Media annual cocktail reception before the White House Correspondent's Dinner on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C© Getty
The anchor with her two kids in 2016

After sharing photos and videos from the special proposal – which featured a cameo from her best friend Oprah Winfrey – she wrote: "It has happened! Favorite son @willgb3 has found his person and I now have a favorite daughter-in-law to be: The lovely @elisemariesmith!"

"There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen and a lot of planning went into this moment, so here's some behind the scenes… now just waiting for the date of the wedding!"

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