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Karen Swensen Bio, Age, Kids, Husband, Job, Hoda Kotb

Karen Swensen might have been a new face to NBC’s Today Show viewers when Hoda Kotb introduced her for the first time but that isn’t the case in her hometown of New Orleans. So, who is Hoda’s best friend Karen Swensen?

Learn everything about Karen in this article below. Here we cover details related to her kids, husband, job, and family members.

Meet Karen Swensen, Hoda Kotb Friend

NBC’s Today Show has been a go-to place for morning news for a large demographer since 1952. The show has been running for 70 years and people have been several co-hosts such as Al Roker, Jenna Bush Hager, and Savannah Guthrie to name a few. Since 1998, viewers have been used to seeing Today’s co-host Hoda Kotb.

However, in 2022, Hoda surprised her fans by introducing her best friend Karen Swensen in the show. The duo introduced viewers to a new show titled Changing Chapters.

Hoda spoke regarding Karen and told, “Karen has gracefully navigated a great deal of change throughout her life and now she wants to share the inspiring stories of others who are doing the exact same thing”.

Karen and Hoda have known and been friends for decades. They met each other while working at WWL-TV in 1994. Hoda is so devoted to her friend that she reportedly named her daughter Hope Catherine Kotb after Karen’s daughter.

Hoda admired her for being able to endure all the hardships that she handled “gracefully” in her life, but more on that later.

Karen Swensen Husband

Karen Swensen was married to her husband John Patrick Ronquillo (@john.ronquillo.12). They reportedly tied the knots sometime in 2000.

John was a graduate of De La Salle High School (class of 1972). He played football and was the captain of the school’s football team. He also competed on track-and-field and was an All-American wrestler. As a teenager, he boxed at St. Mary’s Italian Gym in the French Quarter and at only 17 years old, sparred with heavyweight champ Joe Frazier. He earned a scholarship to Tulane University in 1976 he graduated with a B.A. in history.

He was the co-captain of the Green Wave football team. Months after graduation, John found his true calling as a member of the New Orleans Police Department, which he served for 30 years. His assignments included SWAT, the Police Academy, and the Motorcycle Unit. He served as an NOPD homicide detective in the Major Case Squad for 20 years. John also bravely served the NOPD and the people of New Orleans in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.

After retiring from NOPD, John joined the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office in 2011 as an investigator. John was inducted into the De La Salle Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. He was a member and former officer of the St. Dominic Knights of Columbus Council #3729 which recognized him as Knight of the Year in 2015.

Karen Swensen Husband Illness/Cancer

Sadly, Karen Swensen lost her husband John Ronquillo on 4 September 2018 at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer. Many people paid respect to him after his death, including Hoda. Hoda also promoted Swensen’s lifestyle brand, Life’s About Change, which she founded in remembrance of her late spouse.

Karen Swensen Kids

Karen and John had a daughter named Catherine Grace Ronquillo (@catherine.ronquillo.336) and a stepson named Matthew Jude Ronquillo.

Catherine started school at New York University in September 2021. Karen frequently features her daughter on her IG.

Born in January 1977, Mathew is 45 years old. He is a graduate of Acadiana High School and attended Tulane University. He works as a Registered psychiatric nurse at Amedisys Home Health.

Matthew is married to his wife Courtney with who he shares a daughter. He and his family live in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Is Karen Swensen On Instagram?

Yes, you can find Karen Swensen on Instagram. Her IG handle is (@karenswensen). She also has a Facebook account (@karen.ronquillo.963).

Karen Swensen Age

In March 2022, Karen Swensen turned 53 years old.

Karen Swensen Job

Karen Swensen graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Spanish, as well as a master’s degree in journalism. In 1993, she began her broadcasting career in New Orleans.

Her parents had moved to NOLA at the time, and she’d fallen in love with the city and decided to stay following a visit after college.

For the first time, she landed a job at WWL-TV. She began as an assistant producer and rose through the ranks to become a reporter and anchor on-air.

Karen met Hoda Kotb when working at WWL for the first time. Swensen was a researcher at the CBS affiliate in New Orleans when the Today host was an anchor. They formed a lifelong bond, as seen by Kotb’s frequent social media mentions to her best buddy.

She relocated to Boston in 2006 to be closer to her parents for family reasons. She joined NECN, where she focused much of her reporting on New Orleans, particularly disaster recovery in Louisiana.

Karen couldn’t stay away from the Crescent City for long. She was enticed back to the city and to WWL in 2010. She is most renowned for her investigative reporting and hurricane coverage, for which she has received numerous awards.

As an inspiring journalistic figure, Karen retired from broadcasting in February 2022. The 23rd of February was her last day on the air at WWL-TV.

Related FAQs

  • When Is Karen Swensen Birthday?

Karen Swensen celebrates her birthday on 2 March.

  • Where Is Karen Swensen From?

Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Karen Swensen was born to her parents Richard and Catherine Swensen. Her parents celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary in November 2021

Her father worked in the FBI and came out of retirement to head up homeland security for New England. Whereas, her mother Catherine was a teacher by profession. Richard and his family briefly lived across the street from pre-fame Vince Vaughn when he transferred his family to Chicago during his career. According to Karen’s social media, Richard and Catherine are currently based in Boston.

Karen has also lived in Chicago, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona because of her father’s job.

In addition, Karen has two siblings: Kimberly Swensen and Scott Swensen.

  • How Much Is Karen Swensen Salary And Net Worth?

Karen Swensen has a net worth under above $600 thousand. Her net worth, meanwhile, should’ve surpassed $50 thousand.

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