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11 Essential Facts On Hoda Kotb

1. Kotb was born in Norman, Oklahoma, where she graduated from Fort Hunt High School in 1982.

2. Kotb and her family lived in Egypt for a year, as well as in Nigeria. In Arabic, the name “Hoda” means “guidance” and is a common name among Arab women.

3. The surname “Kotb” means “pole,” as in North or South Pole, and is a common surname among Egyptians.

4. For a period during her career, she spelled her surname Kotbe to aid in pronunciation; she has since reverted to using the original form, Kotb.

5. In 1986, Kotb graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism.

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

7. Kotb occasionally fills in as the co-anchor of Today for Savannah Guthrie.

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

9. In March 2007, Kotb underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer, and has since become an advocate for breast cancer awareness. Kotb allowed Today Show cameras to follow her throughout her cancer battle.

10. After she was announced cancer-free, her story was documented on the show.

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

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