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Lesley Stahl, storied 60 Minutes journalist, finds greatest fulfillment in being a grandmother

Charles Bogel | Wikimedia Commons
Journalist Lesley Stahl at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2010.

CBS journalist Lesley Stahl, most widely known for her work on 60 Minutes, has interviewed heads of state, covered Watergate and broken scores of political news stories throughout her journalism career. Now, Stahl is facing a new challenge: “Becoming Grandma.”

Stahl has written a new book about “The Joys and Science of New Grandparenting,” and joined host Don Marsh to discuss her experience learning to become a grandmother.

“In my whole life, I have not been this happy,” Stahl said. “There is a depth of emotion that comes over us grandmothers.”

In her book, she interviews some famous grandmothers you may know: Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer, Ellen Goodman and many others. She also includes insights from scientists, psychiatrists and others.

Stahl said that grandmothers have a natural, evolutionary instinct to babysit. “We physically crave it,” she said. “We do use the same words for falling in love as we do for holding a grandchild—we are experiencing something similar.”

Stahl also spoke of the health benefits of becoming a grandmother, citing studies that show that grandparenting staves off dementia.

She warned against parents withholding grandchildren from grandmothers and grandfathers because of personal differences.

"When we grandparent, it is 180 degrees different from how we parented."

“When we grandparent, it is 180 degrees different from how we parented,” she said.

Grandparents are able to provide for children a sense of belonging and tradition for children. They’re also an important source of financial support for parents. Stahl cited statistics that show grandparents today spend seven times more than they did just 10 years ago.

Related Event

What: Meet Me St. Louis Presents "Lesley Stahl Becoming Grandma"
When: Sunday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: St. Luke’s Hospital Institute for Health Education - North Medical Office Bldg, Level II, 222 S. Woods Mill Rd., Chesterfield, MO 63017
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.
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