Perky morning show host Hoda Kotb is frequently asked about her age. As of 2023, Hoda Kotb is 59 years old, though she maintains a youthful energy and spirit. Her life story is an inspiring one, full of monumental career achievements and personal triumphs mixed with setbacks and challenges along the way. Through it all, Kotb has preserved with grace, talent and dedication.
A Look Back: Hoda‘s Early Life and Childhood Dreams
To understand Hoda Kotb‘s journey, let‘s go back to the beginning. She was born August 9, 1964 in Norman, Oklahoma where her Egyptian immigrant parents were attending graduate school. Her family then moved to Morgantown, West Virginia when she was growing up.
- Attended Morgantown High School where she was active in tennis and other extracurriculars.
- Dreamed of becoming a broadcast journalist from a young age. In high school speeches, she shared her goal to become a famous CBS News reporter.
- Graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1986.
Even as a child, Kotb exhibited determination, intellect and a magnetic personality that would serve her well throughout her career.
Honing Her Skills: Hoda‘s Early Television Reporter Days
Eager to gain experience, Kotb took on her first media jobs in the mid-1980s at small local stations.
- Landed first on-air job at CBS affiliate WTVF in Nashville in 1986 at age 22. Gained valuable on-camera skills but was let go after 6 months.
- Worked at WXVT in Greenville, MS and WMDT in Salisbury, MD where she honed her reporting chops.
- By 1992 landed role as anchor and reporter for WWL-TV in New Orleans.
At WWL-TV, Kotb covered major stories including Hurricane Andrew and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her stellar journalism skills were recognized with multiple awards.
- Earned an Emmy Award for her enterprising report on the Louisiana State University campus policing situation.
- Received prestigious Peabody Award for "The Children of Children" series on young mothers.
According to Jane Wells, a producer Kotb worked with at WWL-TV, "Even early in her career, Hoda stood out as a gifted storyteller who could connect with people."
Big Break at NBC News
In 1998, Kotb‘s dedication paid off when she was hired by NBC News to work as a correspondent on their acclaimed news program Dateline NBC.
- Covered global events from Kosovo refugee crisis to India earthquake.
- Earned respect of NBC executives for her versatility and hard-hitting reporting.
Dateline gave Kotb vital experience and exposure that prepared her for the next step in her blossoming career.
Landing a Spot on the Today Show Couch
In 2007 after almost a decade proving herself at NBC, Kotb was tapped to co-host the fourth hour of the Today Show alongside Kathie Lee Gifford.
- With Kotb‘s relatable charm and journalistic credibility, the fourth hour became "must-see TV" for fans.
- Ratings increased by double digits with the pairing.
"Hoda brought a warmth, humor and sincerity that really resonated with morning viewers," noted TV critic Lisa Brown.
The hosting job propelled Kotb firmly into the spotlight. That same year, she released her memoir Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee sharing stories from her journalism travels and battle with cancer.
In 2008, Kotb added hosting Today Food cooking segments to her growing resume. She also filled in as guest anchor on the main 7-9am Today timeslot periodically, proving herself more than ready for the big stage.
Taking the Reins: Hoda Named Official Third Hour Co-Anchor
In January 2018, Kotb‘s dedication was rewarded when she was named the official replacement co-anchor for the Today Show‘s third hour alongside Savannah Guthrie.
- Stepped into the role after the sudden firing of Matt Lauer.
- Viewer numbers increased by 13% compared to previous year.
The promotion cemented Kotb‘s status as one of the most beloved and respected hosts in morning television. She had climbed all the way to the top tier of NBC News through persistence and hard work.
Overcoming Personal Challenges Along the Way
Professionally, Kotb was flying high in the late 2000s. But in her personal life, she was dealing with difficult setbacks.
In March 2007, at age 42, Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, becoming a cancer survivor.
"I remember thinking, this is it. But it wasn‘t it," Kotb reflected. "There was more life to live."
Shortly after her cancer battle, Kotb went through a divorce from her husband Burzis Kanga after three years of marriage.
Despite these bumps in the road, Kotb‘s optimism and resolve remained intact. She focused on recovery and continuing to grow in her career.
Finding Love and Motherhood Later in Life
In 2013, a new chapter began when Kotb met financier Joel Schiffman on a beach in Mexico. Though she was 49 and he was 63, it was love at first sight. The two were engaged in 2019 after 6 years of dating.
In her 50s, Kotb longed to become a mother. After failed IVF attempts, she made the decision to adopt as a single parent. At age 52, she adopted baby girl Haley Joy in February 2017. Two years later in April 2019, at 54, she adopted her second daughter Hope Catherine.
Kotb openly shared her motherhood journey with Today viewers. While some questioned and mom-shamed her decision to adopt later in life, Kotb had no regrets.
"My heart just expanded to heights I never thought it could," Kotb gushed about her daughters.
|Year||Age at Time||Milestone|
|2005||41||Married Burzis Kanga|
|2007||43||Divorced Kanga and diagnosed with breast cancer|
|2013||49||Began dating Joel Schiffman|
|2017||52||Adopted daughter Haley Joy|
|2019||54||Adopted daughter Hope Catherine|
|2019||55||Engaged to Schiffman|
|2022||57||Split from Schiffman after 8 years together|
Recent Challenges: Calling Off Longtime Engagement
In January 2022, Kotb made the difficult announcement on Today that she and Schiffman had ended their engagement after 8 years together.
While the split was heartbreaking, Kotb indicated it was not sudden but rather a gradual realization that they were better off apart. Kotb treasured their time together and the family they formed.
Even in the midst of loss, her outlook remained optimistic. At 57, she was open to what the next phase of life had in store.
Kotb‘s Outlook on Life and Aging
Now at the age of 59, Kotb maintains a positive spirit and embraces the wisdom she‘s gained from her life experiences.
In an interview on the Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast in 2022, Kotb reflected:
"I feel like I have moments where I‘m calmer. I feel like I have more wisdom in my heart and soul…I feel like I know myself better."
For Kotb, getting older is not something to fear but rather an opportunity to expand as a person. She focuses on finding joy and meaning in each day.
When speaking to young journalists, Kotb often advises:
"Don‘t sit around waiting for the perfect opportunity. Take risks and remember no job is too small."
Kotb‘s willingness to take chances and face fears with courage has served her well at every stage of her career.
What‘s Next for the 59 Year Old Today Show Icon?
At 59, Kotb remains a fixture on Today, waking up with viewers as co-host of the 7-9am hours.
- Continues anchoring major events like Olympics, Macy‘s Parade.
- Published advice book This Just Speaks to Me in 2022.
- Enjoys spending time with Haley and Hope whenever possible.
- Committed to NBC contract through at least 2023.
The decades in broadcast journalism have not dampened Kotb‘s enthusiasm one bit. She tackles each workday with her signature smile and upbeat energy.
Off camera, she treasures time with her young daughters, close friends like Jenna Bush Hager, and her extended Today show family.
"I pinch myself daily that I get to do what I love," Kotb shares.
The years keep passing by, but Kotb maintains a youthful passion for her work and zest for life.
Hoda Kotb By the Numbers
- 1959 – Year Hoda Kotb was born
- 22 – Age when she landed first TV reporting job
- 42 – Age diagnosed with breast cancer
- 52 – Age she adopted first daughter
- 8 – Years she was with former fiancé Joel Schiffman
- 59 – Kotb‘s age as of 2023
- 40 – Approximate years Kotb has worked in journalism
- 15 – Years Kotb has been part of Today show family
Wrapping Up Kotb‘s Inspiring Journey
At 59 years wise, Hoda Kotb has accumulated life experiences, both joyful and painful, that have shaped her into the beloved star she is today. From eager local reporter to respected NBC news anchor, her career reflects hard work, perseverance and seizing opportunities. Though not without setbacks, her outlook remains upbeat and future-focused.
For Kotb, her age is just a number. She embraces each year with an inspiring sense of gratitude, humor, wisdom and youthful energy. Kotb‘s heartfelt approach on Today over the past 15 years has made her a cherished part of viewers‘ mornings.
So how old is Hoda Kotb? Old enough to have lived a fascinating life and young enough to still be living it to the fullest. Hoda herself says it best:
“I feel like the older I get, the freer I get,” Kotb shared in an interview. “That’s a very liberating feeling.”