Maury Povich and Connie Chung Share the Secret to Their 42-Year Love Story
In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the TV power couple open up about their 42-year love story and share how humor has gotten them through the good and bad times.
"In 1969, I was a copygirl at a little TV station in Washington, D.C. and he was a big star and I was just a kid," the groundbreaking anchorwoman, 74, recalls of her first interaction with Povich, 81. "I would rip the wire copy off the machine and give it to Mr. Povich. He was very gruff and very matter-of-fact. He never looked up. I kept thinking, 'Maybe someday he'll acknowledge that I’m a human being.' I worked there for two years and then I left to launch my career—and I left him in the dust."
- For more on Maury Povich and Connie Chung, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
"Several years later, after bouncing around the country from job to job, I ended up in Los Angeles by 1977 and at that time, I was the second banana to Connie," says Povich, whose daytime talk show Maury is currently in its 29th year. "Connie was the big anchor star at the CBS affiliate and I was her co-act before they cleaned house. Because Connie was the only person I actually knew in Los Angeles, I always said the way to get to Connie’s heart is first, she pities you, and then she can love you. She pitied the fact that I was fired."
The pair went on to date non-exclusively for the next 7 years before tying the knot in 1984 in front of 65 of their closest friends and family.
"It was nice," Chung says of the nuptials. "Though I didn’t convert to Judaism at the time, we got married before a rabbi. We both said to each other afterward, 'Were you listening to what the rabbi was saying?' And we both said, 'No, but did you see that dog right across the street?' We both were mesmerized by this dog in the building across the street who was looking down at the traffic and going from window to window barking."
Now, nearly 36 years later, the duo — who share son Matthew, 25, and Povich's two daughters Susan, 57, and Amy, 53, from his first marriage to Phyllis Minkoff, which ended in 1979, and four grandchildren — are stronger than ever and credit their success to a lifetime of humor.
“Connie is never on time,” says Povich with a mischievous smile. “Well, what’s so annoying about Maury is that he’s so loud and interrupts all the time,” retorts Chung as her husband sweeps in with a swift, “I do not!”
Playful banter like that has been a key to their romance in good times and bad for the couple, who have supported each other through career upheavals, infertility struggles and the adoption of their son Matthew in 1995.
So, what makes their marriage work?
"I have one answer, Connie has another," says Povich. "Whatever discussions or arguments go on during the day, once the head hits the pillow, it’s over and not to be continued the next morning. It is not on my mind."
"That is truly admirable, but I hold grudges and I need to continue to argue it out, whatever it is," adds Chung.
"But we’ve always respected each other’s careers and we’ve always respected each other’s space and values," Povich says. "There’s no need for any do-overs. Maybe that’s the reason why we’re still married."
“I would go back and relive every moment," says Chung.
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