5 Facts to Know About The First Golden Bachelorette, Joan Vassos

Meet the woman making Bachelor Nation history.
Golden bachelorette Joan Vassos
Photo: Disney/Ramona Rosales
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated May 20, 2024

The very first Golden Bachelorette is ready for her second chance at love! On May 15, ABC revealed that Joan Vassos would make history as the first Golden Bachelorette. Vassos became a fast fan-favorite on Gerry Turner's inaugural season of The Golden Bachelor in 2023, particularly when she self-eliminated to help her daughter through a medical crisis.

Now, fans will get to see so much more of the franchise's leading lady as she heads up the debut installment of The Golden Bachelorette. With her season set to premiere on ABC in the fall of 2024, here are five things to know about the first Golden Bachelorette, Joan Vassos.

  • The Golden Bachelorette is Joan Vassos, a contestant who appeared on Gerry Turner's season of The Golden Bachelor.
  • Joan Vassos is 61 years old and lives in Rockville, Maryland. She works as a private school administrator.
  • Joan's season of The Golden Bachelorette will premiere in the fall of 2024 on ABC.

In this article:

Who is the First Golden Bachelorette, Joan Vassos?

Golden bachelorette Joan Vassos
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

If you watched The Golden Bachelor, you're already quite familiar with Joan Vassos. Over 43 million people tuned into the latest Bachelor franchise series, which sparked intense fascination and interest among fans. While Vassos, 61, became an early front-runner, she left during the show's third week due to a family emergency.

Now, she'll have another chance at finding love as The Golden Bachelorette. Ahead of her season premiere later this year, read up on everything you need to know about Joan Vassos.

She's a Mom to Four and a Grandmother to Three

Joan Vassos is a proud mom to four adult children: Allison, Nicholas, Erica and Luke, all of whom she shared with her late husband. Vassos frequently spoke about motherhood on the show, which ultimately led to her early departure. After learning that her daughter was experiencing pregnancy complications, she decided to leave the show early so she could support her kids.

"My journey to find love took a detour this week as I traded the mansion for motherhood and headed home to be with my family," Vassos wrote on Instagram after the episode aired. "Family comes first, period. Once a mother, always a mother, I'll always choose my kids first. Thank you for all of your outpouring love and support, for not only me but also my daughter - everyone is now healthy and happy!"

Vassos is also a grandmother to two boys and one girl, who often appear on her Instagram feed.

She Lives in Maryland

Joan Vassos currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC, where she works as a private school administrator. According to her ABC bio, Vassos is "proud of herself for starting a new career in this chapter of life." But, as much as she loves her job, she notes that she's "happiest when she's at the beach with her family."

She's a Self-Proclaimed Foodie

One thing you must know about the next Golden Bachelorette is that she's a huge foodie—so we won't be surprised if some of her group dates revolve around her culinary passion. Per her show bio, Vassos says she loves cooking and considers "a big, juicy burger" to be her favorite meal.

She Was Previously Married for 32 Years

Joan Vassos was married to her husband, John Vassos, for 32 years. Tragically, he passed away on January 18, 2021, at the age of 59 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

She shared a touching tribute to her late spouse on the third anniversary of his death, writing, "For years I've tried to think of how to memorialize him, but nothing seems quite right... I'd have to name the tallest building in the world to do him justice. Every floor would stand for something kind he did for someone, the good deeds are too many to even attempt to mention."

She continued, "He was the husband that always made me feel safe and cherished. He was the parent that was always the fun one because that's all he knew how to do...lucky kids because fun in his book was generally epic. I could go on for hours, you all know that though. Honestly, I think that's how he would want to be remembered...by not forgetting him."

She's Still Close With "The Golden Girls"

Golden bachelorette Joan Vassos with golden bachelor contestants
Photo: John Fleenor/Disney / Getty Images

If you've kept up with the cast of The Golden Bachelor, you'll know that Turner's group of women—who affectionately call themselves "The Golden Girls"—remained close after filming. Vassos has spent plenty of time with her castmates off-camera, and even attended the Golden Wedding with the crew in January. Vassos also competed with some of the women on Celebrity Family Feud, including Susan Noles, Kathy Swarts, Leslie Fhima, and Natascha Hardee.

How to Watch Joan Vassos' Season of The Golden Bachelorette

Golden bachelorette Joan Vassos
Photo: James Clark/Disney / Getty Images

Joan Vassos' season of The Golden Bachelorette will premiere in the fall of 2024. The show will air on ABC, with episodes available to stream on Hulu the following day.

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