Meet John Molner; this handsome and sophisticated fella is the lucky man married to the amazing Katie Couric, aka America’s Sweetheart. The famous journalist, t.v host, and book author, who has worked for ABC, CNN, and NBC’s Today, later became co-anchor of Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric.
In 2006, Katie left Today and joined CBS News; she worked as the editor of CBS Evening News and in addition, contributed to 60 Minutes. Once a week, Mrs. Couric hosted a one-hour interview show.
In 2011 returned to ABC News before joining Yahoo! News in November 2013. After Alex Trebek’s sad death, Katie Couric took the hosting reigns of Jeopardy! in January 2021.
On September 28, 2022, Katie announced she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
There were better outcomes for others in my family. My mom was diagnosed with mantle cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was kept at bay for a decade. My father’s prostate cancer, which was treated with radioactive seeds. My now-husband John had a tumor the size of a coconut on his liver, which was surgically removed just a few months before we got married.
My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation. Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from “Why me?” to “Why not me?”
But breast cancer — that was a new one; I had practically become an expert on colon and pancreatic cancers, but no one in my family had ever had breast cancer. During that 24-hour whirlwind, I found out that 85 percent of the 264,000 American women who are diagnosed every year in this country have no family history. I clearly had a lot to learn.
I found myself in Dr. Lisa Newman’s office at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She was warm and gracious and put me at ease right away, despite the fact that I only heard every other word. But I did understand this: “Your tumor is hormone receptor-positive, Her2neu-negative and highly treatable, particularly if it was detected early.”
We decided I would have “breast conservation” surgery, aka a lumpectomy. She would make an incision right around my areola. She said she’d try to make sure any scars would be covered by my bathing suit — the furthest thing from my mind. Surgery would be followed by radiation and medication — specifically, something called an “aromatase inhibitor” I’d need to take for five years.
I didn’t want to call Ellie and Carrie until I had a better idea of my prognosis. Finally, four days after I was diagnosed, I FaceTimed each of them. I tried to be as reassuring as Dr. Newman. Their faces froze in disbelief. Then shock. Then they began to cry. “Don’t worry,” I told Carrie then Ellie, “I’m going to be fine,” trying to convince myself as well as them.
They’d already lost one parent. The idea of losing another was unfathomable.
Surgery was scheduled for July 14.
Before I even walked into the hospital, I had two pre-op procedures. The first at Dr. Drossman’s office, where she inserted a thin metal wire directly into the tumor.
“You’re all set,” Dr. Drossman told me as I left her office, “Just tell Dr. Newman to follow my GPS.” Then it was off to get a radioactive tracer that would find its way to my sentinel lymph node to determine the aggressiveness of the tumor and the course of treatment I would need.
Throughout the process, I kept thinking about two things: How lucky I was to have access to such incredible care, since so many people don’t. And how lucky I was to be the beneficiary of such amazing technology. It made me feel grateful and guilty — and angry that there’s a de facto caste system when it comes to healthcare in America.
I got wheeled into the OR, got a nice dose of Propofol, and woke up in the recovery room. Dr. Newman told me she was pleased with the way things went — she had removed the tumor and the margins were clean. (The pink flowered smock contraption around my breast reminded me of the tube tops I wore in junior high.) No bathing for five days. No swimming for three weeks. Not exactly the summer I was hoping for, but a small price to pay.
The pathology came back a few weeks later. Thankfully, my lymph nodes were clean. But the tumor was bigger than they expected: 2.5 centimeters, roughly the size of an olive. “Kalamata?” I asked. “Castelvetrano? Blue cheese-stuffed?” Whatever fruit it most resembled (yes, olives are considered a fruit), it didn’t change the staging, which was 1A. And I’d later learn my Oncotype — which measures the likelihood of your cancer returning — was 19, considered low enough to forgo chemotherapy.
No doubt you all know that before John came to Katie’s life, she met John Paul Monahan, an attorney & legal analyst for NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, who became her husband in 1989.
Together they had two daughters; Elinor Tully born in 1991 and Caroline in 1996. Mr. Monahan was 42, when he died of colon cancer (diagnosed in 1997) on January 24, 1998, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.
After her husband, Katie dated Brooks Perlin, 17 years her junior. The age difference became an issue, and after five years together, they called it quits.
John Molner 5 Facts You Need to Know
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- John Molner was born on January 21, 1963, in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Trinity College and from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
- He started his career in the investment banking division of the First Boston Corporation; subsequently in 1990 became a partner of BBH, eventually became BBH capital Partners’ Senior Advisor.
- John was previously married to Jane Franke Molner, mother of his two children, Henry and Allie.
- After Jane and before meeting Katie, John dated a colleague named Jessica Hsu, then 27, who alleged she was still dating Molner when she found out he was also seeing Couric.“Yes, John cheated on me. That’s all I have to say.” Jessica said. However a close friend of Hsu, wasn’t shy to ellaborate.“He was even talking about buying an apartment for them in New York. They were dating when Jessica discovered John was seeing Katie behind her back. essica was completely blindsided by John’s infidelity and when she caught him cheating, he dumped her like a hot potato.”
- John and Katie dated for two years before tying the knot on June 21, 2014 at her home in The Hamptons.
They deserve one another.