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Say what? Gayle King is on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ at 69

‘Sports Illustrated’ kept it a secret from King until they unveiled it on the set of ‘CBS Mornings’
gayle king
Gayle King (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

“CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King received the shock of her life when she found out she was on the cover of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit at the age of 69.


King erupted with unrestrained joy when model Kate Upton showed her the latest edition of SI: Swimsuit, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.


“It wasn’t something I dreamed about,” King later told People magazine, “but it was one of the highlights of all the things I’ve done because I never thought this would be possible.”

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‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ kept the cover a surprise from Gayle King

SI: Swimsuit did not tell King that she would be chosen for the cover. So it became a surprise unveiling during the live on-air taping of  “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday, May 14. Hunter McGrady and former supermodel Kate Upton — who have their own covers — showed King the issue. 


“Ahhh! I’m on the cover,” King screeched as she practically danced on the couch where she was sitting. “They told me I was just going to be on the inside! It’s not a dummy cover? This is going to be on the newsstands? Oh my God! Oh my God!”

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“I’m floating, I’m floating, I can’t believe it,” she said on the show. “Never in my wildest dreams! Never, ever, ever.”

Gayle King sought advice from Oprah Winfrey and her family before deciding to pose

At first, King thought that she was being “punked” when SI asked her to pose in a swimsuit for the magazine. But once she realized the offer was legitimate, King told People she rounded up her “kitchen cabinet” for consultation on whether she would pose for the pictorial.

“I consulted my kitchen cabinet, which is daughter, Kirby, son, Will and Oprah,” she says, “And Oprah was like, ‘You and I have two very different ideas of fun always,’ but she said, ‘But it seems like something you would really enjoy.’ And Kirby and Will were like, ‘Go for it. Go for it.’ ” 

For the photo shoot, King said she chose a printed one-piece swimsuit and cover-up by Evarae.

“I wanted tasteful cleavage, and they delivered on all of that,” King said, adding that she failed in cutting back on the food.

“The day before, I did have a cheeseburger,” King said with a smile. “It’s one of my favorite things. I did think that I would reduce my eating, but I didn’t even do that.”

For the SI: Swimsuit’s  60th anniversary, the magazine brought together more than 50 legends of today and yesteryear including Christie Brinkley, Martha Stewart, Tyra Banks, Winnie Harlow and Brooklyn Decker. 

The magazine hits the newsstand on May 17.

4 Responses

  1. YAY Gayle!!!! Go head girl. I hope to look half that good when I get to 69…. providing God lets me live that long. 🙂 LOL

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