This is the inspiring story of Egyptian-American broadcast journalist, television personality, and author, Hoda Kotb.
Kotb was born in Oklahoma on August 9th, 1964 . She was raised in Virginia with her parents and two siblings. Kotb’s parents are both Egyptian. Outside of the United States, the family also spent time living in Egypt and Nigeria during her childhood.
Learning to survive and thrive
During her university years, Kotb was active in campus journalism. She followed this passion after university a with series of reporting roles for various media outlets. In 1998, Kotb officially joined NBC news as a correspondent for Dateline and all NBC platforms, including the Today show. Over the years, she has hosted and co-anchored numerous shows and won countless awards, including the prestigious Peabody and Daytime Emmy Awards.
But as life would have it, things haven’t been all smooth and uphill. In 2007, Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite personal tragedies, includig this devastating diagnosis, Kotb continued to rise in her career. To be seen and heard. She’s used her media roles to be an advocate for breast caner awareness. Even after she was declared cancer-free, Kotb continues to use the show as a vehicle to document and raise awareness on the disease.
Also notable is her spectacular authorship. Here’s a quick overview:
Kotb released a New York Times bestselling autobiography in October, 2010 entitled: Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.
On January 15, 2013, she released Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives. In this fascinating book, she chronicles six stories of people who’ve survived life-changing events. She documents their experience when it happens and then revisits each one of the six people ten years later.
Kotb’s third book, Where They Belong: The Best Decisions People Almost Never Made, was released in 2016. This book features a selection of stories of inspiring people who found themselves in unexpected moments or unforeseen circumstances.
In October 2019, Kotb released I Really Needed This Today, which includes personal notes about her relationships and experiences. It’s a combination of quotes and 365 sayings that she hopes inspires and uplifts readers. Kotb has also released her own children’s books.
Diversity and inclusion on morning television
Morning television shows are a staple in most American households. It’s how many Americans begin their day. Thus, the anchors are chosen with extreme care. To broadcasts into the homes on weekday mornings is an honor afforded to just a few, including Kotb, of course.
Kotb does not hold back to use the platform to speak up about diversity, the importance of inclusion, and the prevalence of racism in the United States. She has been outspoken with her support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in particular, Kotb was touched and inspired by children and young people marching against racism and for the Black Lives Matter movement. In this short video clip, she interviews young people to get an understanding of how they’re feeling about these matters. I find the interview and her interest in young people’s perspectives on the matter uplifting. As we pave the way for young people to lead and carry us forward, it’s important that we give them the space and agency to be heard and contribute to these matters at hand.