Hoda Kotb gained fame as a television host and news anchor for NBC. She anchors the show’s signature show Today, and it has been an excellent vehicle for her skills in front of a camera. Kotb has won several awards, including Daytime Emmys and Peabody Awards. Simply put, she is one of the most successful faces on television.
Hoda Kotb’s life has been an inspiration, not just for women but for anyone who has a dream of reaching the pinnacle of their career. But her life is not just about her successes and achievements, she has battled her share of struggles, from being the daughter of immigrants to losing her father at the precipice of her career.
Hoda Kotb was born to Egyptian Natives
On the ninth of August 1964, on a joyous day, Hoda Kotb was born in Norman, Oklahoma. She grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Alexandria, Virginia. But the American locations in Hoda’s childhood factoid is just one half of her background. She was born to Egyptian parents. Her father was Abdel Kader Kotb, and her mother is Sameha.
It wasn’t just her, either. She has two siblings, a brother named Adel and a sister, Hala. Her sister is an official at the Library of Congress. Although born in Egypt, Hoda spent a year of her childhood years connecting with her family’s roots in Egypt, where she experienced the Islamic roots of her family history. Kotb and her family also spent time in Nigeria due to her father’s work as a fossil energy specialist.
Beyond her Egyptian ancestry, there have been speculations that the Today anchor is also of Coptic descent, but she has not confirmed the rumors and is considered false. For her educational pursuit, she attended Fort Hunt High School and graduated in 1982. She was the homecoming queen during her time, and she also gave a speech during her baccalaureate service.
Hoda Kotb furthered her education at Virgin Tech and graduated with a B.A in broadcast journalism in 1986. As a result of her eloquent speeches while at the college, she gave the commencement speech to the school’s graduating students in 2008, precisely 22 years after she graduated. In subsequent years, Hoda Kotb served the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors for three years.
The Start of Hoda’s Three-plus Decades Career in Journalism
Due to her outspokenness and qualification, shortly after her college graduation, Hoda Kotb joined WXVT as an OAP. She spent two years at the Greenville, Mississippi station, between 1986 and 1988. Just before her career at her first station kicked into gear, her father died, from a cause yet unannounced. Afterward, she moved to WQAD, an ABC affiliate in Moline, Illinois, as a reporter.
She spent a year in Illinois before joining WINK, a CBS affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida as a weekend anchor and reporter in 1989. The journeyman nature of Hoda’s early career served as a foundational experience for her later career on national television. Before she got the all-important call to join NBC News in 1998, she spent six years in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the CBS affiliate, WWL.
Before joining the station, she spent two years at WINK, before joining WWL in 1992. After six years at WINK, in April 1998, she joined NBC News as a correspondent for Dateline NBC and all other NBC News platforms, kickstarting decades of working for the media outlet.
She Found National Fame on NBC via Today
When Hoda Kotb joined NBC, she was, by all means, unpopular. That did not change in over nine years as a correspondent for Dateline NBC and other NBC news programs. As a correspondent, her work earned her several awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, Gracie Awards, Headliner Award, and a Peabody Award. In recognition of her talents as a correspondent, most notably her ability to hold the attention of her audience, she became the first host of Today’s first fourth-hour weekday morning broadcast in 2007.
The show became a rating boom, throwing Hoda into the spotlight. Eight years after, in February 2015, she expanded her coast and began hosting a one-hour live show, Today, on the satellite radio, Sirius XM. Two years after, on January 2, 2018, Hoda Kotb became the co-anchor of the main Today show, following the exit of Matt Lauer. She began anchoring the show with Savannah Guthrie, becoming the first female anchor duo to helm the show. For their work, they have won a Daytime Emmy Award, for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host.
Hoda Kotb’s popularity via the Today show has also turned her into a celebrity. She once appeared in a music video for I’m Gonna Love You Through by Martina McBride. She has cameoed in several TV shows like Nashville, The Other Two, 30 Rock, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Kotb has also published several books, including her biography, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee (2010). Other books include Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives (2013), Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Made (2016), and I’ve Loved You Since Forever (2018).
Hoda Kotb’s Blissful Family Life with Joel Schiffman
Before she became famous, Hoda Kotb was in a marriage with Burzis Kanga, a University of New Orleans tennis coach. Their marriage lasted three years, between 2005 and 2008. Five years after, she started a relationship with Joel Schiffman, a New York financier. Like Hoda, Joel was previously married to an unknown woman, with whom he shares a daughter, Kyle.
After four years of dating, Hoda adopted her first child, a baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb. Hoda decided after a battle with breast cancer in March 2007, revealed she couldn’t conceive. Two years after, on April 16, 2019, she announced the adoption of her second baby, Hope Catherine Kotb.
Later in the same year, Hoda and Joel Schiffman took their relationship to the next step. They got engaged in November 2019 and planned on a destination wedding in 2020. Unfortunately, the global pandemic derailed the plans, postponing it to a yet to be determined date. In the meantime, Hoda and Joel are living together in their Upper Manhattan apartment with their two daughters.