Every morning, Tony Dokoupil joins Anthony Mason and Gayle King for his early-morning shift with “CBS This Morning.” The dashing newsman, and dad, has been doing his job from home, like so many of his other network colleagues, and he wraps up his a.m. shift at his basement station just in time to have a bite of breakfast with his wife, MSNBC anchor, the spirited Katy Tur, and their baby boy, Teddy, before things go into overdrive to get her ready for her afternoon and evenings of airtime from her home desk.

Any mention of Teddy or his eight-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son can bring a smile to Tony Dokoupil that only a father can know, and the devoted dad and journalist did head up a sublime feature story for fathers this morning, June 19.

This morning, however, the most demonstrable emotion from the co-anchor was prompted by his moving sendoff and salute to his mother, Gail, who is retiring from her work as a public school teacher after 41 years. No words could convey more respect or genuine adoration than the tears that came to the son’s eyes before the first sentence was uttered. The heart and realness was a meaningful departure from morning TV Shows typical fare.

‘The Talk of the Table’ turns into a warm journey for Tony Dokoupil

On “CBS This Morning,” “Talk of the Table” is a regular segment of the morning show’s second hour. Each of the hosts shares a story that he or she wants to share, and hopefully, one that will lift the spirits of the viewers.

Almost immediately after Tony Dokoupil spoke that his special story was about “my mom, Gail,” his floodgates of emotion gave way to tears.

The newest and youngest member of the morning team never apologized. He only said, “you'll see that we are criers in my family.” “It's okay, go, Tony,” encouraged Gayle King. “This is sweet.” Tony Dokoupil proceeded to take everyone watching on a lovely, personal journey that will always be remembered.

He displayed a photograph of Gail in her first year of teaching in 1980, while she was pregnant “with me,” as he confessed. Alongside the first image was one of his mom now, with more gray hair but the same enormous radiance in her eyes and her smile.

Tony Dokoupil championed his mother as a devoted special education teacher (and I can verify that devotion as one myself-- also retired.) He choked up as he related her constant advocacy for her students and attaining resources they needed so much.

She also was an ambassador for her field in gaining respect and support. Her greatest joy was “to see her students succeed,” as Tony praised. “Well done, Mom!” he echoed, still wiping tears. “It’s such a good life,” Dokoupil added, with a definite focus that changing a young person’s destiny yields far more lasting value than dollars alone.

Tony Dokoupil has learned firsthand that a teacher’s heart knows no bounds

Gayle King always says that she's willing to ask the questions that everyone wishes they could. She also likes to talk to everyone, whether an old friend or new “CBS This Morning” guest. The delay effect of cyber-hosting together is touchy and can come off as though she is interrupting, but this morning, she truly wanted to know why Tony Dokoupil was so unspeakably touched by this momentous day and decision for his mother.

“My dad wasn't around. She raised me,” rightly ascribed the broadcaster. Tony Dokoupil also credited that “she took thousands of kids under her wing over the years.” She reminded Tony that he had many brothers and sisters “out there” who he will never know.

In 2019, just after joining “CBS This MorningTony Dokoupil related to Stephen Colbert that he had reconnected with his father, who was known as “Big Tony” in drug-running circles.

The younger Dokoupil had no idea, growing up in Miami, that Anthony Edward Dokoupil was big in the drug business. He found out as a young journalist that real estate was only his cover occupation. Dad left for good when his son was 6 and was busted in 1992 and served time for a deal involving 17 tons of Colombian drugs. After the CBS co-anchor and Katy welcomed their son, the granddad came for a visit.

Tony described his dad as a “very principled marijuana dealer” who thought he was bringing something that delighted and calmed people in these very hectic times. The senior Dokoupil “rained marijuana over the whole Northeast,” elaborated the son in his book, “The Last Pirate.”

Being a present dad is the dearest lesson for Tony Dokoupil

Tony Dokoupil and Katy Tur are a terrific tag team when it comes to work and parenting, even during these times of social protest and pandemic.

When it comes to retirement, the son fears that his mother won't be able to keep away from the classroom.

“I held it together,” he insists on their conversation last night. “She was crying and said she had already had two glasses of wine,” divulges the devoted son. Tony Dokoupil also revealed that she already had applied to be on the substitute teacher list. Lounging simply isn't in Gail’s wheelhouse.

Tony talked with dads of all colors and situations in honor of Father's Day and was captured celebrating treasured time with Teddy, wearing Birkenstocks and socks, and cheerfully holding a stuffed bunny in his mouth. There's nothing this dad won't do.

One dad said his job was to “uproot every tree” that might impede his sons’ path.

Another said that he wants his son to walk into a room one day and realize that “he is supposed to be there” because his father prepared him to be there.

With his wry wit and smile, Tony Dokoupil compared being a dad to driving with headlights at night. “You can only see so far ahead of you, but you usually get there safe,” he assures of the important, but uncertain, role.

This dad learned valuable lessons in simply being there and showing love on a daily basis, from a mother born to do the job of two parents and to be a mother to many.