1. Matthew Todd “Matt” Lauer (born December 30, 1957) is an American television journalist best known as the host of NBC’s The Today Show since 1997.
2. He was previously a news anchor for The Today Show in 1994 and anchor for WNBC in New York City and a local talk-show host in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Richmond.
3. He was also host of PM Magazine (or “Evening Magazine” 1980 86) and worked for ESPN in the 1980s as a sideline reporter.
4. In the early 1990s, Lauer hosted segments of HBO Entertainment News.
5. Lauer was born in New York City, the son of Marilyn Kolmer (ne Gentry), a boutique owner, and Jay Robert Lauer, a bicycle-company executive. His parents divorced during his youth, and his father died in 1997.
6. Lauer had become co-host of The Today Show, replacing longtime host Bryant Gumbel in early 1997, not long before his father’s death.
7. Lauer’s father was of Romanian Jewish heritage, as seen on the Today Show’s Finding Our Roots. Lauer said, “My dad was Jewish.
8. Getting married and wanting to have kids has something to do with that.”
9. Lauer is a graduate of the School of Media Arts and Studies (formerly the School of Telecommunications) of Ohio University.
10. In 1997, he received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University at the age of 39.
11. He had dropped out of Ohio University’s School of Telecommunications in the Spring of 1979. Lauer began his television career in 1979 as a producer of the 12 o’clock news for WOWK-TV in Huntington, West Virginia.
12. By 1980, he had become an on-air reporter on the 6 and 11 o’clock newscasts.
13. He then started to move around the country, hosting a number of weekly information and talk programs in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Richmond. He was also host of PM Magazine in Providence, RI and then in 1984 at WNEW-TV in New York City until the show’s cancellation in 1986.
14. In 1986 he co-hosted with Jill Rappaport WNYW-TV’s Made In New York for its fifteen-week run on the station.
15. From 1989 to 1991, Lauer hosted a three-hour live interview program, WWOR-TV’s 9 Broadcast Plaza. In 1990, he was hired by the Kushner-Locke Company to host a pilot called “Day In Court,” executive produced by veteran producer David Sams, who helped to launch The Oprah Winfrey Show into national syndication.
16. The program was retitled “Trial Watch” when it went to series, and ran on the NBC network for two seasons.
17. NBC hired Rob Weller as host over Lauer when the program was picked up as a daily series.
18. The same year, he filmed a pilot for WWE’s Vince McMahon, focused on a new bodybuilding league, though he was not picked up for the series. In 1991 he appeared as the co-host (along with Willow Bay) of “Etc., Etc.”, a show on The Travel Channel.
19. Lauer moved to WNBC-TV in 1992 where he became co-anchor, alongside Jane Hanson, of the early weekday news show Today in New York.
20. After a year, he also filled the role of Live at Five co-anchor with Sue Simmons. He held that job until 1996.
21. Lauer’s on-camera presence provided him with many opportunities with NBC’s national news organization while working for WNBC in New York.