Gayle King Reveals the ‘Beauty’ of SI Swimsuit

The 2024 cover model didn’t have to change anything about herself before heading to Mexico for her photo shoot.
Gayle King was photographed by Yu Tsai in Mexico.
Gayle King was photographed by Yu Tsai in Mexico. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Emmy Award-winning journalist Gayle King has won America’s hearts all over again as a 2024 SI Swimsuit Issue cover model. The CBS Mornings cohost, who traveled to Mexico for her photo shoot with Yu Tsai, graced the front of the 60th anniversary magazine, which has resulted in an incredible pop culture moment.

King, who is the editor at large of Oprah Daily, recently appeared on a segment of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and talked all things SI Swimsuit, from posing in a one-piece to calming her nerves and more.

“I’m still stunned,” she said. “I really did think I was being Punk’d. When Sports Illustrated Swimsuit called me, no joke, I thought ‘O.K., so what are you saying?’ They said, ‘We’re doing something about legacy. We’re doing something about legends, about women who are at the top of their game who are still working really hard, [who are] crushing it and who still really have this zest for life.’”

Fallon asked her if she had any pre-photo shoot rituals or tactics to help calm her nerves to get physically and mentally in shape to pose in a swimsuit. The mom of two explained that she asked the publication if they wanted her to lose weight, and joked that she even considered getting a rib removed.

“This is the beauty of [Sports Illustrated Swimsuit]. They said, ‘We don’t want you to change anything. They said, ‘Gail do exactly what you always do.’ [So] the day before the shoot I did have a cheeseburger,” she shared with a laugh. “I sit here at 69, feeling fine ’cuz Black don’t crack, Jimmy.”

King also participated in a photo shoot among fellow brand legends in Hollywood, Fla., which resulted in a secondary group cover of this year’s magazine.

Ananya Panchal