Gayle King’s son, William Bumpus Jr., will soon walk down the aisle with his fiancée, Elise Marie Smith. 

On Feb. 26,  King, 69, took to Instagram to announce her son’s engagement to Smith, posting beautiful videos and photos of their special moment for fans. Her best friend, media maven Oprah Winfrey, tagged along and helped to find the perfect spot for Bumpus Jr. to get down on one knee and propose.  

“Behind the scenes of the proposal,” King said in one clip shared inside her photo carousel on Monday. Winfrey, 70, could be seen directing the photographer on where to stand to get the perfect shot of Bumpus Jr. and Smith after the proposal. The camera panned to capture King’s daughter, Kirby Bumpus, and her 2-year-old grandson, Luca, who were present for the special occasion.

Bumpus Jr., 36, and Smith were filmed walking to the spot of their proposal in another video included within the post.

Surrounded by luscious greenery and tall trees, the couple held hands and stopped briefly to embrace and kiss before Bumpus. Jr. got down on one knee and popped the question to Smith. Winfrey, King and the family could be heard gasping in excitement as they watched the couple’s sweet engagement unfold.

King gushed about the incredible moment in the caption, calling Smith her “favorite daughter-in-law.”

“It has happened! Favorite son @willgb3 has found his person,” the CBS News anchor penned. “And I now have a favorite daughter-in-law to be: The lovely @elisemariesmith!”

In the closing video, friends and family of Bumpus Jr. and Smith enthusiastically applauded the newly engaged couple. At the same time, King and Winfrey admired her daughter-in-law-to-be’s engagement ring. Fans also flooded the comments section with congratulatory messages for the soon-to-be-married pair.

“Congratulations!! I’m crying! I’m so happy & excited at the same time!” wrote one user.

Another person chimed in, “Why am I acting like I know these folks?” tagging a few crying emojis along with the sweet message. “Congrats.”

What do Gayle King’s children do?

King shares Kirby and William with her ex-husband, William Bumpus Sr. She was married to the lawyer from 1982 to 1993. Both of her kids are killing it in their respective fields. 

Kirby is head of social impact at Sweetgreen. With her undergraduate degree at Stanford and a Masters in Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Kirby spent five years working under former First Lady Michelle Obama as a senior policy advisor before landing the role, her bio for SXSW noted. She helped develop the “Let’s Move” initiative, which focused on promoting nutrition and physical activity for children and their families.

According to Concrete Rose Capital, King’s son, William Bumpus Jr., founded reWerk, a nonprofit initiated in response to the 2020 pandemic. Listed as a partner at Concrete Rose Capital, he established his organization to bridge digital disparities within communities of color by providing both financial and social support. Bumpus Jr. graduated from Duke University and holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University.


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