For more than 15 years, Hoda Kotb has been a popular face on Today, lighting up TV screens with her vibrant personality. The television host is always sharing glimpses into her personal life with viewers about everything from her breakup to being a mom of two. Still, some might be shocked to find that there are some interesting things they might not know about her.
Hoda studied journalism at Virginia Tech and searched for a job after graduation. In a June 2016 interview with SiriusXM, the Oklahoma native shared that she was rejected by 27 television stations before a small station in Mississippi finally gave her a chance. She initially did not expect the station to hire her but brought in her tape anyway. Little did she know, it was just the start of a massive broadcast career.
“You know, the whole God gives you a sign — I literally got lost in Mississippi because I was listening to James Taylor, and sad and driving aimlessly, and I saw a physical sign that said, ‘Greenville, Mississippi, Our eye is on you.’ It had like a CBS eye. News center 15, WXVT. I said, ‘I’m gonna go there and get rejected,’” she said.
After her time working in Mississippi, Hoda moved on to work at WQAD in Illinois and WINK in Florida. In 1992, the New York Times bestselling author began working at WWL in Louisiana. She held the position for six years before joining NBC in 1998 as a correspondent and anchor for Dateline. The mother of two took on the role she’s best known for, hosting Today with Kathie Lee Gifford in 2008.
The pair solidified their status as one of television’s most iconic duos during their decade of working together. Even when Kathie Lee left the show in 2019, they continued their friendship offscreen. The Then Came You actress told Fox News that she was “thrilled” that Hoda became a mother for the second time in April 2019.
The Sharknado star loves being a mom to her daughters, Hayley Joy and Hope Catherine, whom she welcomed via adoption with her ex-fiancé, Joel Schiffman. Hoda announced their breakup during a January 2022 episode of Today.
“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year … on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends,” the breast cancer survivor told viewers.
Jenna Bush Hager joined Today as Hoda’s cohost in 2019. The pair have a sweet relationship on camera and have shared such emotional stories with each other and millions that tune in every day. Their honesty and vulnerability is one of the reasons why the program has remained such a big hit on the network.
Scroll to learn five interesting facts about Hoda!
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