The two began dating in college. Meredith became Miss South Dakota and earned good grades, while Brokaw dropped out after “too many parties, girls and booze”:
[Meredith] began refusing my calls and eventually wrote a strongly worded letter saying, in effect, “I am not interested in someone who is at such a dead end and who is such a disappointment to his family and everyone around him.”
It was a BIG wake-up call. I got a job in a local television newsroom and began commuting to school while working full time. My grades and deportment improved markedly but I had given up on Meredith, until one day she approached me and said she had been out of line to write such a harsh critique. I assured her it was just what I needed. One thing led to another and less than a year later we were engaged.
Married since 1962, Brokaw remains “in awe of Meredith’s cool, centered inner compass as she pursued her own life at a comfortable distance from my network profile.”