She’s best known for knocking back glasses of wine with Kathie Lee Gifford on the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” show — but she’s had a long career in journalism, some personal struggles, and one very famous pet! Here are 10 things you may not know about 51-year-old firebrand Hoda Kotb…
1) Largely raised in West Virginia, Hoda also lived for a year in Egypt, where her parents are from.
2) She started her reporting career as a news assistant for CBS in Cairo.
3) Hoda is a breast cancer survivor. She underwent a mastectomy in 2007, and is now a huge advocate of breast cancer awareness.
4) She appears with other cancer survivors — like rocker Sheryl Crow — in the music video for Martina McBride’s “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”
5) Hoda wooed co-host Kathie Lee to “Today” with a five-hour lunch at iconic New York restaurant The Rainbow Room.
6) “I wake up at 4:00 a.m.,” the early show early bird reveals. “Sometimes a couple of minutes before.”
7) As a reporter, she’s covered many terrifying events, like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans — but she can’t stand scary movies!
8) Hoda has a cockapoo dog named after country star Blake Shelton!
9) She has a terrible sweet tooth. “It’s gotten to the point where if I throw a cookie in the garbage, I have to douse it in Cascade,” she says.
10) She’s been dating financier Joel Schiffman, 58, for three years.