Before Al Franken’s sexual harassment allegation and subsequent resignation, he was under the media spotlight for 40 years as a comedian and later as a member of the United States Congress as a Senator. Beside him during this journey was his wife, Franni Bryson, whom he has been married to for over 40 years and has also been credited for helping him win his race as a senator.
Unlike her husband, Franni Bryson has mostly worked behind the scenes in various capacities, most prominently as the supportive wife of the former US Senator through his career from state to national politics.
In this article, we take a closer look at the woman behind the former senator. Learn more about Franni Bryson by reading below.
Franni Bryson – Biography
Franni Bryson was born on the 8th of October, 1951, in Portland, Maine. Her birth was one of five children born to her parents, with the others being three sisters and a brother.
To say Franni Bryson was born into a poor family would be accurate and things got financially harder when her mother was forced to raise her alone, along with her siblings, following the death of her father. With the help of social welfare programs like the Social Security Survivor’s Benefits, Franni was able to attend high school and college.
As a high school student, Franni Bryson did not let her family’s financial and social status hold her back, she excelled at several of her academic subjects, winning a couple of awards for academic excellence. Following her graduation from Deering High School, Franni attended Simmons College where her life would be changed forever.
She graduated from Simmons College in 1973 as a married woman, having met Al Franken as a freshman. While Al Franken went out in pursuit of a career in entertainment, Franni Bryson began her professional journey as a reporter for Portland Press Herald.
Due to her inclination to keep herself away from the media spotlight, the exact timeline of her professional career is unknown but we know over time, she has worked in different capacities as a political activist, board member of West Side Little League, PTA President and most importantly, as a team member and supportive wife of Al Franken’s political journey.
Credited as the inspiration behind her husband’s decision to abandon his career as a comedian and pursue one in politics, Franni Bryson stood by her husband throughout the campaign trail and was instrumental to making political ads that helped win the heart of her husband’s constituents. Even after victory at the polls, she has been a prominent voice in championing goals like affordable education, sexual health and the reduction of domestic violence.
Franni Bryson had a life before she met Al Franken but it’s her relationship with the former US Senator that made her into a public personality and that journey began in college when they met as freshmen. Although they attended different colleges, the proximity of their respective schools enabled the meeting to take place and the subsequent development of a relationship.
Franni Bryson met Al Franken at a college mixer and subsequently, they remained together, grew in love and even got married before they stepped out of college as graduates.
Since they got married in 1975, they have raised two children – Thomasin Franken, a daughter who was born on the 8th of February, 1981 and a son, Joe Franken who was born sometime in 1984.
Franni Bryson’s daughter grew up to walk in her father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in the entertainment industry as an actress. She is also an educator, working as the director of the extended learning program, DC Prep in Washington DC. Her son, Joe Franken is a member of the finance industry.
Other Facts About Her
1. Franni Bryson’s relationship with Al Franken has also made her a grandmother through her daughter who has a son named Joseph Bryson Greenwald. Thomasin had her son through her marriage to Brody Konow Greenwald.
2. She used to struggle with alcoholism and has been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1986.
3. Her father was a World War II Army veteran. Before he died, he worked as a staff at a paper mill.
4. Her brother is a former member of the Coast Guard.