With Al Franken in the news regarding sweeping sexual harassment allegations, people are wondering about Al Franken’s wife, Franni Bryson, and who she is.
Al Franken’s Wife: Franni Bryson
Minnesota senator, former Saturday Night Live alumni, and comedian Al Franken (age 66) has been in the news a lot as of late. There is now controversy stemming from the statement and confession made by Leeann Tweeden regarding her time with Franken in 2006. Tweeden, now a radio anchor, confessed that while she was serving during the Iraq war, she met Franken at a USO show where he was performing in 2006. Franken spent several years doing USO shows and has awards for contribution. In 2006 he created a sketch for himself and Tweeden to act in and she revealed that he sexually harassed her several times. It is said that he groped her and forced his tongue into her mouth when they were rehearsing, even though she said she did not want to kiss him and tried to pull away. Then a photo surfaced (posted below) where Franken is seen grabbing for Tweeden, a seeming attempt to embarrass her. This was all before Franken became a member of the Senate. After Tweeden’s story hit the news, several other women have come forward with sexual harassment stories that involve the senator. The second person to come forward was Lindsay Menz. Menz claimed that Franken grabbed her butt in 2010 at the Minnesota State Fair, while they were in the middle of a photo op. That was on November 20, 2017. Then two other women came forward on November 22 also confessing that Franken treated them in the same manner years before. This scandal caught people’s attention because of the additional photo evidence of Franken intending to embarrass Tweeden by using sexual harassment as a joke. Around four women have now come out publicly against Franken and he has been very vocal about how he feels about the situation, having made several apology attempts. His wife of 42 years, Franni Bryson, and his children Joe Franken and Thomasin Franken have yet to make any public statements regarding the sexual harassment controversy. Every day there seem to be additions to the story and though Franken has yet to refute any of the claims, he made it very clear he is not going to resign from his job as senator. The latest news regarding the issues state that he is at home “reflecting” on his behavior.
Photo taken during the 2006 USO tour. Al Franken (age 55) and Leeann Tweeden (age 33). Tweeden was clearly sleeping, dressed in her army attire, while Franken took advantage of the situation.
Franni Bryson Met Al Franken In College
Franni Bryson, despite having grown up in a poor family, was able to attend one of the greatest schools in the county, Harvard. When she was a young child her father, a World War II veteran, was killed in a car accident. Her mom cleverly used social programs to keep the family afloat after his death, mostly through Social Security survivor’s benefits. Before Harvard, she attended Simmons College and graduated in 1973. Franni Franken has many achievements under her hat, from activist to mother. She was a PTA President, a girl scout, a board member for the West Side Little League, and a Dirigo Girls State Delegate. Once she made it to Harvard, that was where she met her future husband Al Franken. Al Franken has talked about how they met multiple times, saying they met at a mixer and danced the whole night away. For Franni, she describes that moment as “love at first sight”. They married the same year Franken started his tenure with Saturday Night Live. The couple resided in New York City while he worked there for twenty years. Not much later they had two children, Thomasin Franken and Joe Franken.
Photo from early in Al Franken’s and Franni Bryson’s relationship. Franni Bryson (Age 20), Al Franken (Age 20)
They are now 42 years into their marriage – Al Franken (age 66) and Franni Franken (age 66).
Current Photo Of Al Franken, Wife, Children, and Grandchildren
Franni Bryson Is No Stranger To The Struggle Of Substance Abuse
Franni Bryson struggled with a substance abuse problem, specifically alcoholism, for many years. She entered a recovery program in 1986. In that same year, as a gesture of support, her husband joined a family support group that specialized in relatives who have alcoholism. In her struggle and eventual victory, she found her story useful. She used her experiences to strengthen the percevied tenacity of her husband Al Franken in the public eye. Franken doesn’t bring up the issue himself but Franni mentioned it several times during Al Franken’s 2008 campaign for a seat in the senate.
Al Franken’s Wife Was The Reason He Was So Successful Politically
Al Franken is no stranger to controversy. While attempting his first senate campaign
the Minnesota Republican Party was upset with an article they discovered written by Franken himself for Playboy called “Porn-o-Rama!” Many politicians called it “demeaning and degrading”. He found himself being discredited often because of his former career choices and background. This did not stop Franken, but it was his wife who used her kindness and honesty to humanize Franken, making him out to be more than just a part-time comedian and a full-time supportive figure. Whenever he is asked why he wanted to be a part of the government he always mentions his wife’s childhood. When Franni Bryson was a baby, her father was killed in a car accident. Though her mother was widowed and left with five children, the family was able to succeed via Social security and various other social programs. They survived and the children were able to complete their schooling.
“They tell you in this country you have to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, First you have to have the boots. And the government gave my wife’s family the boots.”
An example used by Franken to push the liberal agenda.
“This was a historically close race, but it wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for Franni. I would have lost by kind of a lot. Now those of you who have spent time around the campaign know just how hard Franni worked and just how many voters gave me a second chance after meeting her. …As we waited to celebrate this victory, Franni has been a rock and an inspiration to so many who know us.”
Franken joked about Franni being his “running mate” though making it clear he would be the one to take office if victorious. Despite Franni not officially being a member of the Senate, she did love the doorway he created to take on some issues she was passionate about. Looking at her past, it was not surprising that she was in favor of more affordable education. She also wanted to push for a decrease in domestic violence and more informative sexual health programs.
Al Franken Wife’s Net Worth
It’s very easy to figure out Al Franken’s net worth, with his fame coming from his time as a comedian and the time he spent with Saturday Night Live. And now with the Senate sexual harassment scandal, his name is in the news even more. Al Franken’s net worth is 8 million dollars. While his wife, who is not famous independently, has a net worth of 800,000. Comparing Al Franken’s net worth and his wife’s, there is a considerable difference. Al Franken’s net worth has changed over the years.
Franken has a very deep involvement in the government since the days of SNL and now works in several committees.
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy (member)
Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining (member)
Subcommittee on Water and Power (member)
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety (ranking member)
Subcommittee on Children and Families (member)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law (ranking member)
Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights (member)
Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism (member)
Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest (member)
Subcommittee on the Constitution (member) Throughout his campaign, he was able to raise a lot of money. In 2012, he raised $22,502,124 for his Minnesota Senate campaign. THen when he ran again, in 2014, he raised $30,770,855. This makes a total of $53,272,979. His net worth increased dramatically from 2008, when it was estimated to be $6,625,425 compared to $8,563,027 in 2012. That’s a 29 percent growth. Senate members’ net worth is determined and tracked by Congress’ personal gain index. It measures the wealth of public servant’s while in office. There are two aspects: personal net worth and The Donation Concentration Metric. Both are illustrated above.
Al Franken, Wife, And Children Have A Strong Familial Support System And Public Following
The Franken family has many supporters all over the country. Franken has 34.9k followers on Instagram and 361K on Twitter. A lot of the photos on his account promote his wife and the support of family. In return, a lot of his social media followers remain loyal because of his wife and her kindness and dedication. Not only are people on social media supportive of their family, but former colleagues too. Thirty-six women involved with SNL have collaborated and signed a letter in support of Franken and his family. Most are former SNL employees that spent years working with Franken, claiming they did so without incident. They wanted to insist that they respected Franni and her family and that they were all good people, including Al.
The names include:
Jill Baylor, Shannon Gaughan Bowman, Beth Einhorn, Cindy Caponera, Jane Curtin, Suzy Drasnin, Juli Pari Frankel, Julia Fraser, Tara Gardner, Iris March Gross, Marcy Hardart, Lori Jo Hoekstra, Sheila Kehoe, Marci Klein, Frannie Lee, Laila Nabulsi, Laraine Newman, Mary Ellen Mathews, Cristina McGinniss, Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Dinah Minot, Evie Murray, Sarah Paley, Sandra Restrepo Considine, Suzanne Rosenberg, Suzanne Ross, Karen Roston, Mary Salter, Claire Shirey, Rosie Shuster, Kiki Kazanas Steele, Pam Thomas, Bonnie Turner, Christine Zander, and Liz Welch.
“We are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior,”
Al Franken and Franni Bryson have two children, Thomasin Franken and Joe Franken. Thomasin and Joe were both born in New York City while the family lived there during Franken’s run on SNL. Thomasin was born February 8, 1981 (now age 36). She was named after Franken’s longtime comedy partner Tom Davis. Thomasin married Brody Konow Greenwald in 2011. Thomasin and Brody had their first child in May 2013, making that Franni Franken and Al Franken’s first grandchild. Joe Franken, born in 1984 (now age 33) married Stephanie Allen Ross in 2012. Joe and Stephanie also had a child in January 2016. Below shows one of the many family photos of the Franken family featured on Al Franken’s Instagram page.
Whether it be in the wake of sexual harassment charges or alcoholism or a senate race, Joe Franken, and Thomasin Franken stand by their family. In Franni’s official bio it states:
“Al’s life partner and political soul mate, she served as his de facto running mate during the campaign – spending every day traveling Minnesota, charming everyone she meets, bringing pies and winning hearts.”