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Arab Americans

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb (/ˈhdə ˈkɒtb/;[1] Arabicهدى قطب‎ Hudā Quṭb Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ˈhodæ ˈʔotˤb]hoh-de kot-bee born August 9, 1964) is an Egyptian-American television news anchor and TV host known as the co-host of the Today Show’sfourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford. She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2010 as part of The Today Show team. Kotb is also a correspondent for NBC‘s Dateline NBC.


Kotb was born in NormanOklahoma, but grew up in MorgantownWest Virginia[2] and AlexandriaVirginia,[3] where she graduated from Fort Hunt High School in 1982. She was elected Homecoming Queen[4] and selected to speak at her graduating class’ Baccalaureate service.[5]

Kotb’s parents are from Egypt. Kotb and her family lived in Egypt for a year, as well as in Nigeria.[6] In Arabic, the name “Hoda” means “guidance” and is a common name among Arab women. The surname “Kotb” (Qutb) means “pole,” as in North or South Pole, and is a common surname among Egyptians. For a period during her career, she spelled her surnameKotbe to aid in pronunciation; she has since reverted to using the original form, Kotb. Kotb’s father is deceased, and as of 2014, her mother works at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.[7]

In 1986, Kotb graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism.[2] Kotb was the keynote speaker at her alma mater for the 2008 Virginia Tech graduation,[8] where she played Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman” over her iPod.[9] In 2010, Kotb was elected to a three-year term to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors.[10]

Kotb wrote a New York Times Bestselling Book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee,[11] which was released in hardcover in October 2010. 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.


Kotb appears on the fourth hour of the Today Show, co-hosting with Kathie Lee Gifford. She has also been a correspondent for Dateline NBC since 1998. Kotb occasionally fills in as the co-anchor of Today for Katie CouricMeredith VieiraAnn Curry, and Savannah Guthrie.


Personal life

In her college years at Virginia Tech, Kotb was a member of Delta Delta Delta Women’s Sorority, Beta Nu Chapter.[12]

In 2005, Kotb married former University of New Orleans tennis coach Burzis Kanga.[13] The marriage ended in divorce two years later.

In March 2007, Kotb underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer, and has since become an advocate for breast cancer awareness.[14] Kotb allowed Today Show cameras to follow her throughout her cancer battle. After she was announced cancer-free, her story was documented on the show.

In January 2015, Kotb said she has been in a relationship with New York financier Joel Schiffman for two years.[15]


  1. Jump up^ “Hoda Kotb tried ‘Kotbe’ … to get ahead?” 20 February 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  2. Jump up to:a b Kimberly Brown (2008). “‘Today’ show anchor to inspire young journalists at WVU May Commencement”West Virginia University. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  3. Jump up^ Diane Clehane (2009). “Hoda Kotb interview”. Retrieved Aug 7, 2014.
  4. Jump up^,_Hoda/Biography/
  5. Jump up^
  6. Jump up^ She has a brother, Adel and a sister, Hala. Her mother, Sameha (“Sami”), works at the Library of CongressMSNBC profile
  7. Jump up^ Clarification on names added to page at request of subject’s mother, February 20, 2009, to correct a tabloid’s erroneous statement that Kotb’s birth name was Choda Kotb.
  8. Jump up^ “Virginia Tech 2008 Commencement Address by Hoda Kotb”. RetrievedMay 20, 2013.
  9. Jump up^ Greg Esposito (2008). “At Tech graduation, laughs to leave by”The Roanoke Times. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  10. Jump up^ “Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors”. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
  11. Jump up^ “How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”
  12. Jump up^ “Tri Delta – Mythbusters”. Tri Delta. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  13. Jump up^ “Hope From Hoda”. June 2, 2006. RetrievedJanuary 28, 2014.
  14. Jump up^ Hoda Kotb (2008). “Your life after cancer is better than the one before”.MSNBC. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  15. Jump up^ Webber, Stephanie. “Hoda Kotb Finally Reveals Boyfriend’s Name”US Weekly. Retrieved 23 March 2015.