“Anytime it’s cold up north, I find an excuse to come down,” Lauer told the Palm Beach Post in 2000.
He has a long history here, where his parents lived in Palm Beach Gardens, his dad died in hospice care and he held an annual charity golf event to benefit hospice work. He also was good friends with broadcaster Bryant Gumbel, who lives in north county part-time.
“Annette’s taken three golf lessons,” he said. “She hits the ball great, but it hasn’t sparked any interest in her. The passion’s not there yet. But now she’s asked for another lesson. So maybe. It would be nice to plan a vacation where it’s not me playing in the day and she’s doing something else. To go out and play together, I’d love that.”
Lauer is also friends with longtime West Palm Beach and New York public relations executive Shamin Abas, who declined comment about him Wednesday. In 2005, a Post gossip column reported that Abas and Lauer had friendly “tete-a-tete” dinners at West Palm restaurant Tsunami.
In January 2006, Lauer and his wife attended a party at the Martin County home of then-Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga. When somebody mentioned the star power of his former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric, Lauer reportedly said: “I’m not as big of a star as my wife.”