We Can't Stop Staring At Gayle King's Transformation

Millions of Americans have woken up with TV journalist Gayle King on the CBS morning news every weekday for years. The seasoned anchorwoman has been a trusty source for some of the world's top stories for years, and she's not a face that's easily forgotten. It's probably for that exact reason that we couldn't stop staring at her glowing transformation after she stepped out at the 2024 Grammy Awards, showcasing her age-defying beauty and stunning look.

But King's appearance isn't the only thing that has changed over the years. Four decades ago, she was fresh out of college, starting at the bottom of the totem pole in the news industry. Over the years, she's become a world-renowned journalist, editor-at-large, mother, wife, and advocate in the Black community. Also, did we mention she's best friends with Oprah Winfrey

After climbing the latter for years, the "CBS Mornings" host sits comfortably in her anchor chair. But how much do viewers know about her stunning evolution? Here's a look at how Gayle King has transformed throughout the years.

Gayle King grew up in two different countries

Gayle King's childhood was unconventional, to say the least, as she spent time in two different countries while growing up. King was born in Maryland in 1954, but she also spent part of her early years overseas in Turkey after her father was stationed in the country while serving in the military. At a young age, the future journalist was already getting a sense of the world on a large scale.

King eventually moved back to the United States, where she lived with her parents and three sisters throughout the '60s and '70s. According to InMenlo, her former neighbor recalled the Kings being the second family to move into Menlo Oaks, a residential neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the time, her father had found work as an electrical engineer. Overall, the television personality has fond memories of her upper-middle-class upbringing. "I had a swimming pool, a maid. We grew up very, very well," she admitted (per Oprah.com).

King eventually followed her family to Maryland after finishing high school, where she started her journalism career. Little did she know at the time that she would soon cross paths with her future best friend, Oprah Winfrey

She got her start as a journalist in Baltimore

Viewers may not know that, years before she became a household name, Gayle King hadn't been planning for a career in television at all. In an interview with USA Today, the television host revealed that she was a psychology major in college, with aspirations of potentially being a psychiatrist or attending law school. But after getting a job at a television station during her undergraduate, King instantly took a liking to the field. "I became hooked ... It wasn't something that I intended to do. I got an entry-level position and there you go to something else and then something else and something else and here I am," she shared.

King climbed the ladder for years, building her resume by working at news stations in Washington, Baltimore, Kansas City, and later Connecticut. She ended up syndicating her daytime television program at the latter, spending 18 years with the CBS affiliate WFSB-TV. 

Through the years she kept in touch with her best friend Oprah Winfrey, whom she met while working as a twenty-something production assistant in Baltimore. At the time, Winfrey was working as a news anchor at the same station. "For the first time, I met somebody who I felt was like me," King said (via Oprah.com). "I'd never met anybody like that. Certainly not another Black girl. I grew up in an all-white community. ... Oprah and I had the same sensibilities."

King and Oprah Winfrey are thick as thieves

What's it like to be Oprah Winfrey's BFF? Well, just ask Gayle King, as it's a question she never gets tired of answering. The two women first got close after working together at a Baltimore news station called WJZ in 1976. Winfrey was making almost double King's salary as the future talk-show queen was an anchor while King worked as a production assistant, but the two became besties. When a snowstorm prevented King from driving home one night, Winfrey offered up her home for the night, cementing their bond. 

"[We both] had a very strong sense of being Black and were very proud of being Black. So to meet another Black girl like that was, wow! And we were the same age, we were both single, and we just immediately bonded," King shared in her and Winfrey's joint interview for the 2006 issue of The Oprah Magazine.

Now, decades after inclement weather brought them together, the two have risen to the top of their industry, all the while continuing to support each other's endeavors. In addition to working for "CBS Mornings," King is also the editor-in-large at Oprah Daily, a lifestyle magazine formerly known as The Oprah Magazine. She also previously premiered her syndicated talk show "The Gayle King Show" on the Oprah Winfrey Network and Sirius XM Radio in 2011. Despite her friend doubling as her boss, King says there's no competition between them. "I don't see myself standing in [Winfrey's] shadows, ever," she said on ABC's "Nightline." "I really do see myself standing in her light."

Her marriage ended in a scandalous affair

Gayle King's one and only ex-husband is William Bumpus, a wealthy British attorney. The two tied the knot in 1982 but their marriage quickly dissolved in 1990 after King caught her husband sleeping with one of her friends. They divorced in 1993.

King opened up about the split during a stop on "Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus" tour (via Little Things). The "CBS Mornings" host revealed that she found Bumpus in bed with one of her married friends after returning home early from a trip with their kids. "He was not expecting to see me, and I wasn't expecting to see her," King recalled. The Maryland native was shocked by the discovery, admitting she had no suspicion that her husband was being unfaithful at the time. "So you know when they say the wife always knows? The wife always suspects? I tell you, I really — you know this," King shared. "I had no clue. No clue whatsoever."

Oprah Winfrey saw alarm bells early on in the couple's relationship, as early as their wedding day. "There are some weddings you go to and you're just filled with all this hope for the couple. And you feel that there's something special going on," Winfrey told King in their joint interview for the August 2006 edition of The O Magazine. "I didn't feel that at yours ... I never told you because it wasn't my place to say that."

King overcame her divorce while raising small children

Gayle King is the proud mother of two children she shares with William Bumpus. Their daughter Kirby was born in 1986, followed by their son, William Jr., in 1987. Raising her kids wasn't easy, however, especially since they were just 4 and 3 years old at the time the news anchor discovered Bumpus had been cheating on her. The "CBS Mornings" host recalled lying to William Jr. and Kirby about her and Bumpus' reason for living apart while dealing with the aftermath of the cheating scandal. 

After King and the kids moved out, King recalled during "Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus" tour that she told her kids, "'Daddy has to go into the other house because there's a burglar. And Daddy's gonna help catch the burglar. So he's not gonna be here for a while.' ... I couldn't bring myself to tell them that we were getting a divorce."

Ultimately King persevered and is now a mother who inspires her best friend Oprah Winfrey. "I've never seen a better mother," Winfrey told People in 2019. As for her kids, their achievements are a testament to King's hard work. Kirby graduated with a psychology degree, going on to work in the United States Department of Health and Human Services as well as the White House. William Jr. also studied psychology, eventually becoming the managing partner at Phoenix Rising and starting his own nonprofit, reWerk, which provides at-home school materials to communities in need.

She went on to become the face of CBS

After "The Gayle King Show" stopped airing, Gayle King accepted a contract in 2011 to be the next anchor at CBS News. The journalist has been with the network for over a decade, covering everything from presidential elections and immigration laws to pop culture and breaking news. King is one of the longest-tenured co-hosts for "CBS Mornings."

"There's no such thing as a typical day. Every day is different," King shared when describing her job to USA Today. "I get up super early: The hours are crappy, but I love this job. One day I could be in Texas talking to immigrant moms. Another time I could be in Detroit. Another time I could be at the White House." Her day isn't finished after she's done at CBS. "Then I leave there, and I have another full-time job at O, The Oprah Magazine. I've been there for 18 years. I'm there until about 6:30 to 7 p.m. It's a very long day. It's very busy, but I like it," she said.

Being the face of CBS means covering the world's top stories, and it's something King doesn't take lightly. The co-host cited reporting from the Texas border about the Family Separation and Detention immigration laws as well as covering the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture as some of her most prized moments in her career.

King dropped almost 30 pounds with the help of Winfrey

Gayle King underwent a massive transformation in 2016, shedding weight thanks to the help of her bestie's weight loss program. King lost nearly 30 pounds in 2016 by following Oprah Winfrey's Weight Watchers program, adding exercise to help shave off the pounds. The co-host worked with personal trainer Jim Karas at the time, training an hour a day sometimes up to six days a week. "Before I was doing cardio, cardio, cardio," she said (per Oprah.com) "And I wasn't losing weight the way I'm losing now. Jim said to me that building up muscle really does burn calories faster. For me, that's been the case." 

While keeping to a healthy regimen is a must for King, she admits she doesn't starve herself of life's simple pleasures. "I deny myself nothing," she shared. "Some people don't eat pasta or bread or sweets ever. I love those foods too much. So for the most part, I eat healthy, but if I go to a party or on vacation, I'm going to enjoy it; then I work extra hard to get back to where I was."

While some people track points or look at the scale, King says she knows she's at her goal weight when she can fit into a dress from years ago. As for whether she and Winfrey compete with each other over weight loss, the anchor told E! News, "We don't compete about anything! We truly are cheering each other on always."

King showed off her epic bikini body in Cancun

At nearly 70 years old, Gayle King is in a league of her own. The "CBS Mornings" host rocked a yellow one-piece while posing seaside in Mexico alongside her niece, and many fans couldn't believe how much King seems to be aging in reverse. Not only does she seem fresh-faced and glowing, but the seasoned journalist has also kept up her fitness regime, showing off her toned physique in a series of photos posted to her Instagram

Fans took to the comments in disbelief, with one fan writing, "How is it possible you just look better every single year?????" Another chimed in commenting, "Gayle with the rich Auntie slayage! Yesss." Being an on-air personality means spending the extra hours to look your best, and we don't doubt that Miss King has put in the work. While she may slay in a swimsuit, she admits she doesn't exactly enjoy the gym. "To look the way I want to look, [working out is] a necessity," she said (via Oprah.com).

What's next for King's love life?

Gayle King is pretty private about her love life for the most part and hasn't debuted a man since her divorce decades ago. While she's still looking for love, she's admitted to having a few hiccups along the way regarding the dating scene. During a 2017 episode of "Harry" (per PageSix), the "CBS Mornings" host admitted she unknowingly went out to dinner with a man who was married, only to discover it during the middle of their meal.

"So I'm out to dinner and he's talking and then he said something about 'my wife' and I said, 'Wait, wait, wait, your wife? You have a wife?' He goes, 'Yeah.'" The man explained to King that he and his wife had been living in the same house while separated, but didn't have any plans to divorce. "And I was like, 'Check, please, I know that story,'" King recalled. 

Despite the disastrous date, King is still looking for love. The anchorwoman admitted on an episode of "The Pivot Podcast" (via People), that being such a high-profile television personality has posed a challenge in her love life. "What's difficult is that people say, 'Oh, you're so intimidating,'" she said, adding she hopes to find someone who can adapt to her fast-paced lifestyle. "You want somebody who has a sense of humor, who's very secure, who's not intimidated by whatever all of this is, that just sees you for you."

King dazzled in glittering gold at the 2024 Grammy Awards

Despite the long hours she puts in at work, Gayle King showed she knows how to play as well. The "CBS Mornings" anchor stunned on the red carpet at the 2024 Grammy Awards, proving that she gets better with age. The seasoned journalist donned an all-gold look, rocking a shimmering jumpsuit paired with an embroidered kimono, all by Marc Bouwer's Haute Couture collection. She completed the look with a pair of gold pumps and rocked a short bob with bangs for the celebratory occasion. 

Fans loved King's outfit, and viewers took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share their reactions. "I love Gayle King's outfit tonight #grammys," one user tweeted. King shared a series of photos from the big night to her Instagram, writing, "Grammys!!! Gotta hand it to @marcbouwer who whipped up this gorgeous creation in 4 days!! Perfect for music's biggest night and the people who make us happy listening to their music!!" Overall, King seems to be loving life and we can't help but applaud her.