Hoda Kotb (/ˈhoʊdə ˈkɒtbiː/ HOH-də KOT-bee; Egyptian Arabic: هدى قطب, Hudā Quṭb; [ˈhodæ ˈʔotˤb]; born August 9, 1964) is an American broadcast journalist, television personality, and author. She is a main co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today and co-host of its entertainment-focused fourth hour. Kotb formerly served as a correspondent for the television news magazine program Dateline NBC.
Kotb was born in Norman, Oklahoma and grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia. She lived in New Orleans throughout the 1990s. Kotb's parents are from Egypt. Kotb and her family lived in Egypt for a year, as well as in Nigeria. She has a brother, Adel and a sister, Hala. Her mother, Sameha ("Sami"), works at the Library of Congress. Her father Abdel Kader Kotb was a fossil energy specialist and was listed in the Who's Who of Technology. He died at the age of 51 in 1986.
During a 92nd Street Y interview, Kotb hinted at her Muslim roots when she recounted her memories of annual summer vacations in Egypt and her veiled cousins and how her parents' migration to the United States had spared her from having to do the same:
We met our cousins who looked just like us. Some of them had the head cover on. I still remember going, 'Oh, my God. Like that could have been me.' You don't realize the gift your parents give you when you leave.
Kotb similarly indirectly spoke about her family's Muslim background in her autobiography when she described attempts at match-making by her relatives in Egypt:
During my visit, I'd be sitting on the couch and there'd come a knock-knock at the door. 'Hoda, someone's at the door for yooooouuuu ... ' Oh, Lord. 'This is Mohamed. He's from Cairo. He's studying engineering ... and he has a Mercedes.' Really? He also has on a long white man dress. Okay, call it a dishdash.
Kotb makes no mention of any Coptic ancestry in her autobiography as some online articles have incorrectly claimed.
She graduated from Fort Hunt High School in 1982. She was elected homecoming queen and selected to speak at her graduating class's baccalaureate service. In her college years at Virginia Tech, Kotb was a member of Delta Delta Delta women's sorority, Beta Nu Chapter. In 1986, Kotb graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. Kotb was the keynote speaker at her alma mater for the 2008 Virginia Tech graduation and in her speech, played Metallica's "Enter Sandman" over her iPod. In 2010, Kotb was elected to a three-year term to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Kotb's first on-air job after college was at then-CBS affiliate WXVT in Greenville, Mississippi. Kotb then moved to ABC affiliate WQAD in Moline, IL as a reporter from 1988 to 1989. She became a weekend anchor and reporter at CBS affiliate WINK in Fort Myers, Florida from 1989 to 1991. From 1992 to 1998, Kotb was an anchor and reporter for CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 2011, Martina McBride asked Kotb to be featured in her music video for "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," a ballad dedicated to cancer survivors.
Kotb officially joined NBC News in April 1998 as a correspondent for Dateline NBC and all NBC News platforms.
She was the first host of Today's first fourth-hour weekday morning broadcast at 10:00 a.m. in September 2007 and was joined by Kathie Lee Gifford as a co-host in April 2008. Gifford was later succeeded by Jenna Bush Hager in April 2019, following Gifford's departure from the show.
On February 23, 2015, Kotb began hosting a live, one-hour show twice a week on Sirius XM's Today channel, discussing casual, water cooler topics.
On January 2, 2018, Kotb was named co-anchor of Today with Savannah Guthrie after former Today anchor, Matt Lauer, was dismissed from NBC News following accusations of sexual misconduct. Prior to the announcement, she had been the interim co-host with Guthrie immediately following Lauer's dismissal in November 2017. Together, Kotb and Guthrie make up the show's first female anchor duo to lead the show.
In October 2010, Kotb released a New York Times bestselling autobiography, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.
On January 15, 2013, she released her second book, Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives, in which she chronicles six stories by identifying a life-changing event in each subject's life and then revisiting each of those six people a decade later.
In 2016, Kotb released her third book, Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Made, which features a selection of various stories of inspiring people who "found themselves" in completely unexpected moments or unforeseen circumstances.
In October 2019, Kotb released her sixth book, I Really Needed This Today, which includes personal notes about her experiences and relationships, an assortment of quotes, and 365 sayings that she hopes inspires and uplifts readers.
Kotb has also released her own children's books. The first one, her fourth book overall, I've Loved You Since Forever, was released in 2018, and was adapted into a lullaby by Kelly Clarkson. Her second children's book, her fifth book overall, You Are My Happy, which celebrates the things in life that bring gratitude, was released in March 2019.
In 2002, Kotb was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award for her reporting.
Kotb received her first Gracie Awards in 2003 and 2008.
Kotb was awarded a Headliner Award in 2004 for Dateline NBC's "Saving Dane - Adoptees Rage."
In 2006, Kotb was awarded a Peabody Award for Dateline NBC's "The Education of Ms. Groves," which earned her an additional Headliner Award in 2007, as well as the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award in 2008.
In 2010, 2011, and 2012, during which Kotb was a part of the Today morning host lineup, Today won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program.
In 2015, she won a Webby Award for Online Film & Video - Public Service & Activism for her music video, "Truly Brave," which she created in collaboration with Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. That same year, she received an additional Gracie Award for Outstanding Host in News/Non-fiction in 2015.
In 2016, Kotb was awarded with a Gracie Award for Outstanding Host in Entertainment/Information for her SiriusXM show.
In 2019, Kotb and Gifford were awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host during their time as co-hosts.
In 2005, Kotb married former University of New Orleans tennis coach, Burzis Kanga. The marriage ended in divorce in 2008.
In March 2007, Kotb underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer and has since become an advocate for breast cancer awareness. Kotb allowed Today cameras to follow her throughout her cancer battle. After she was declared cancer-free, she has continued to document and use the story on the show to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Since 2013, Kotb has been in a relationship with New York financier Joel Schiffman.
On February 21, 2017, Kotb announced on Today that she had adopted a baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb. On April 16, 2019, Kotb came on Today via phone to announce she had adopted a second baby girl named Hope Catherine Kotb.
On November 25, 2019, Kotb announced live on Today that she had been engaged to Schiffman.
- 1986: CBS News – news assistant Cairo, Egypt
- 1986–1989: Morning anchor and general assignment reporter WQAD-TV, ABC Moline, Illinois; and anchor WXVT-TV, CBS Greenville and Greenwood, Mississippi
- 1989–1991: Weekend anchor and reporter WINK-TV, CBS Fort Myers, Florida
- 1992–1998: Anchor and reporter WWL-TV, CBS New Orleans, Louisiana
- 1998–present: NBC News
- 1998–present: NBC News National correspondent
- 1998–present: Dateline NBC contributing anchor and correspondent
- 2004–2008: Host of the weekly syndicated series Your Total Health
- 2007–present: Today 4th hour co-host (with Kathie Lee Gifford from April 2008–April 2019, Jenna Bush Hager April 2019–present)
- 2007–2017: Today substitute co-anchor
- 2017: Today featured co-anchor
- 2018–present: Today co-anchor with Savannah Guthrie
- 2018–present: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade host
- 2009: Lipstick Jungle as Herself (1 episode)
- 2010: 30 Rock as Herself (1 episode)
- 2014: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Herself (2 episodes)
- 2014-2017: Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce as Herself (4 episodes)
- 2015: Lip Sync Battle as Herself (1 episode)
- 2015: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! as Herself (movie)
- 2015: Donny! as Herself (2 episodes)
- 2016: Younger as Herself (1 episode)
- 2016: Brothers Take New Orleans Celebrity judge
- 2017: Nashville as Herself (1 episode)
- 2017: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming as Herself (movie)
- 2018: Mickey and the Roadster Racers as Miss Sweetums