You know Hoda Kotb best for her voice; her friendly face; and of course, the morning news. But did you know the beloved co-anchor of Today, 56, had nearly 30 job rejections before she landed her first gig? Hard to believe! In honor of her upcoming book, This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day, the broadcast journalist revealed 25 things about herself that no one knows exclusively with Us Weekly. Read on to learn more about Kotb.
1. My purse is a landfill.
2. I am a spiritual person. God and I have good conversations.
3. I have been taking guitar lessons on and off for five years. I can only play “Landslide” [by Fleetwood Mac].
4. I’m no cook, but because of [my daughters], Haley Joy and Hope Catherine, I can now make five dinner items.
5. I had 27 job rejections before my first job.
6. I go to bed by 8 p.m. and I’m up at 3:30 a.m.
7. I am obsessed with the smell of Lever 2000.
8. They don’t make a hat big enough for my head.
9. I prefer the beach over the mountains.
10. I count the number of stairs as I walk them.
11. Haley Joy and Hope Catherine’s favorite song is Alicia Keys’ “Underdog.”
12. I journal every day.
13. I prefer sunrises over sunsets. I like beginnings.
14. I feel like a kid again when I shoot hoops. Shout out to my high school team — go Fort Hunt Federals!
15. My brother, Adel, once gave me his summer earnings so I could buy my first car.
16. I love handwritten notes more than the gifts itself.
17. I do a good impression of Count von Count from Sesame Street.
18. I usually have an emergency container of Coffee mate in my purse.
19. My best friend is [journalist] Karen Swensen.
20. The flower that everyone likes but me are orchids.
21. People who know me best call me Hodie.
22. My favorite musical event is Jazz Fest in New Orleans — bar none!
23. My mom’s baklava is the best I’ve ever had — anywhere!
24. My sister, Hala, is the wisest person I know.
25. I have lost my wallet, keys and credit card countless times, and somehow they always come back.
Kotb’s new book, This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day, is out Tuesday, October 13.