‘TODAY Show’ Host Hoda Kotb Honors Richard Engel’s Late Son During Friday’s Show

by Tia Bailey

TODAY show hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie paid tribute to NBC News chief correspondent Richard Engel’s son earlier today. Engel’s son sadly passed away at the age of 6 due to Rett Syndrome.

Engel’s son, Henry, was only a month away from his seventh birthday when he passed. He was Engel and his wife Mary Forrest’s firstborn son. Engel released a statement on Thursday, writing: “Our beloved son Henry passed away. He had the softest blue eyes, an easy smile and a contagious giggle. We always surrounded him with love and he returned it, and so much more. Mary and Richard.”

People flooded his replies with support and love.

This morning on the TODAY show host Hoda Kotb honored Henry. She spoke about his condition, and told viewers “at such a young age, Henry Engel carried that fighting spirit.”

Kotb had also responded to Engel’s tweet, writing: “Oh Richard….. I am so so so sorry. My heart aches for you and your family. We love you.”

Co-host Guthrie also posted about the family, sharing on Instagram: “Dearest Richard and Mary, you were amazing warriors for Henry – pouring your love and care into him and fighting for him every day with everything you’ve got. To me, you are the personification of what it means to be a parent – to love, adore, and delight in your child, and bring every ounce of your beings to their flourishing. You’re my heroes. My dear Henry, you will be missed. I will always remember the twinkle in your eye. We will keep fighting for you. Donate here to keep Henry’s research going- much progress has been made because of him. Others can and will be helped.”

People Share Support for Richard Engel and Wife Mary After Son’s Death

The official Twitter for the TODAY show also shared the news along with a video. They wrote: “NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel’s son Henry died at 6-years-old. Henry was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a genetic brain disorder that does not have a treatment or cure, as a toddler.”

People in the replies share their condolences. One Twitter user wrote: “Heartbreaking news. Our thoughts and prayers for his parents, his family, and everyone that was with little Henry. Such a beautiful, happy, loving little man. Rest in Peace sweet Henry. I want to thank his parents for sharing. May God embrace them with his strength and love.”

Engel updated Twitter about his son’s condition, and the research going into it. He said: “Researchers are making amazing progress using Henry’s cells to help cure RETT Syndrome so others don’t have to endure this terrible disease.”