For the majority of his more than three-decade reign as one of America’s favorite late-night TV hosts, David Letterman was not a family man. The comedian was notoriously guarded when it came to his personal life and made no secret of the fact that he put his career above all else. But all that changed in 2003, when the Late Show host became a first-time dad at the age of 56. Since then, he has frequently spoken about the joys of fatherhood and is clearly very proud of his 18-year-old son, Harry Letterman. So what has life been like for the late-night legend’s only child? Here’s everything you need to know about David Letterman’s son.
Harry Letterman Was Born In 2003
In September of 2003, during the taping of one of his talk shows, Letterman shared some big news with his audience. “I have an announcement to make and I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little bit nervous,” he admitted. “I have some trepidations about this. I feel a little silly because it’s one of those things where I thought never in my life this would happen. And here I am, 56, and by all rights it shouldn’t be happening. But, there’s nothing we can do about it now. And I’m terribly excited about this. I’m scared silly about this. I’m going to be a father.”
Two months later, on November 3rd, 2003, Harry Joseph Letterman was born. Regina Lasko, Harry’s mom, had been Letterman’s girlfriend since 1986, but the couple didn’t get married until 2009. “I had avoided getting married pretty good for, like, 23 years,” the host joked when he revealed to his audience that he had gotten hitched.
The pair tied in the knot in a simple civil ceremony at the Teton County Courthouse in Choteau, Montana, near the family’s large ranch. According to People, Harry, who was five years old at the time, accompanied his parents to the courthouse.
Letterman often gushes about his son and says he loves being a dad, though he admits that he was reluctant to have kids for a very long time. “I just thought, when the topic would come up, I can’t do both. I can’t try to have a successful television show and be a father,” he explained in a 2012 interview. “And I was wrong about that—because as difficult as being a father is, it’s entirely complementary with everything else in your life.”
He Was Almost Kidnapped As A Toddler
While being the son of a high-profile celebrity certainly has its perks, it can also be dangerous. In 2005, when Harry was just 16 months old, he was the target of a kidnapping scheme perpetrated by a former employee of Letterman’s. Kelly A. Frank, who had worked on Letterman’s ranch as a house painter and had a key to his house, planned to abduct the toddler and his nanny and hold them for a $5 million ransom.
Fortunately, the plot was foiled before it could be carried out. Frank made the mistake of sharing his plan with a friend, who quickly contacted the authorities. Frank was charged with felony embezzlement and received a 10-year prison sentence in a plea deal.
Harry Stays Out Of The Spotlight
Now 18 years old, Harry Letterman keeps a low profile. He’s only appeared in public a handful of times with his father, including attending Letterman’s final Late Show in 2015. “Look at that kid!” Letterman said when the camera zoomed in on the 11-year-old (who was sitting next to his mom). “Thank you for being my family. I love you both. And really, nothing else matters, does it?”
While Harry doesn’t appear to have any immediate plans to follow in his dad’s footsteps, Letterman says his son has inherited his sense of humor. “He’s just a goofball and I love it,” Letterman said in a 2020 interview with Howard Stern. “He’s very entertaining.”