You can’t go far with Katie Couric without strangers wanting to approach.
“There is nothing to me that would be mortifying or embarrassing than having someone say to a friend back home or a colleague back at work 'she is not nice at all in person!' Couric said.
She made history as the first female to solo anchor the evening network news. But, she also seems like the girl next door.
“You can take the girl out of Arlington but you can't take Arlington out of the girl - right?” she said.
From Girls Scout memories to favorite haunts when she was little, the Yorktown High School and University of Virginia grad and her now-grown siblings were active in school. During the summer, they worked at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind camp.
“It was very humbling, very gratifying and really life changing in many ways,” Couric said.
For Couric, times were lean, but happy.
“Any money that we might have had, went to living or to the college fund… My grandmother used to give me a check for five dollars in a birthday card and it went right in to my college fund,” she said.
And while her career may now seem glamorous, everything from her office decor to her mom sensibilities, stresses hard work over high fashion.
“Ellie wanted a Baby G watch—these were all the rage when she was in 3rd grade—and they were a hundred dollars! and I said ‘absolutely not!’” Couric said.
Couric told her daughters not to expect a big trust fund—hoping the grief she still lives with after losing husband Jay in 1998 to cancer can at least be a life lesson.
“Because let's face it. Things happen. People get divorced. People die, as they did in my husband's case…and you need to stake out your own role and - I think - a sense of purpose,” she said.
Still, Couric has made it big, but, is still taking on more—she is launching the “Katie” Show in September.
“I'm not ready to retire yet—I just turned 55 . You know, I think I have a ridiculous work ethic…I feel like I have a lot of productive years ahead of me. I mean look at Barbara Walters,” she said.
She already scored an exclusive with Princes William and Harry about the Queen and also helped vault Good Morning America to number one.
The girl next door had most definitely made it big.