Natalie Morales was born in Taipei on June 6, 1972, and moved to the United States at age 18 to attend college; she has worked as a journalist and news anchor throughout most of her adult life. As of 2015, she is married to Joe Rhodes, and they live in New Jersey with their two sons. She is a keen runner and participates in both marathons and triathlons.
Morales' father was Puerto Rican by birth. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force when she was born, so her childhood was mainly spent on Air Force bases around the world. She returned to the United States permanently upon entering Rutgers University, and she graduated summa cum laude with majors in journalism and Latin American studies.
After getting her first job in a bank, Morales broke into journalism with a job as morning anchor with News 12. She moved to WVIT-TV as a reporter, where she covered several major stories including the Columbine shootings, the 2000 presidential election and the 9/11 attacks.
She moved to MSNBC in 2002, serving as both correspondent and anchor, and made her name investigating several hard news stories such as the Columbia disaster and the Iraqi prisoner scandals. In 2006, "Today" invited her to join its team as a national correspondent. In 2008, she moved to a co-anchor position, and in 2011 she moved to her current position as news anchor.