The Stunning Transformation Of Hoda Kotb

Sometimes, you can look at a celebrity and forget that they started out like the rest of us. One look at Hoda Kotb and the word "news" instantly pops into your mind. While she's no doubt amazing at her profession, there are also tons of other facets that make her the person she is today. In fact, when you hear how incredible her story is, you won't watch the news the same way ever again.

The transformation of Kotb is an incredible one. From getting rejected at every turn, according to CNBC, to becoming the first person to ever have a fourth hour show on "The Today Show," she has worked hard and stayed humble through it all. Her life is consistently changing, but she continues to inspire others throughout all of her ups and down.

Honestly, you just need to take a deep dive into Kotb's life, because there is nothing more inspiring to see than where someone came from and how they got to be where they are today. 

Hoda Kotb always wanted to be a journalist

The Hoda Kotb you see on your screen today did not happen by a fluke. According to CNBC, the on-air anchor has always wanted to be just that. In fact, while she might look like a pro at the job now, the publication says that she received 27 rejections in a row before getting her first job at a local television station.

"I was in that car driving around for 10 days. I got rejected everywhere. Anywhere you can think of in the Southeast, I got rejected," Kotb said. It turns out that literally driving around to different states for hours — remember, this is the time before LinkedIn — is how she finally found one person who would take a chance on her.

"You know, the whole God gives you a sign — I literally got lost in Mississippi because I was listening to James Taylor and sad and driving aimlessly, and I saw a physical sign that said, 'Greenville, Mississippi, Our eye is on you.' It had like a CBS eye. News center 15, WXVT. I said, 'I'm gonna go there and get rejected,'" Kotb said. 

Now, Kotb is a permanent anchor on "The Today Show." She took over for Matt Lauer after he was fired for his alleged inappropriate sexual behavior.

She's a breast cancer survivor

Her landing her first job isn't the only trial and triumph that Hoda Kotb has had in her life. She is also a breast cancer survivor and now advocate as well. According to The Sun, Kotb had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer in 2007 after her diagnosis.

The talk show host recently shared her story while in an interview with Olivia Newton-John, who is currently battling breast cancer. "A long time ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I was incredibly healthy, and I remember them finding a lump and I said 'oh you must be mistaken,'" Kotb said in the interview. "And I remembered realizing that moment, you know I'm an optimist too, I didn't want to know about any of the testing. I didn't want to get into the weeds."

Since her diagnosis and procedure, Kotb has been using her voice to help others going through the same struggles with breast cancer. 

Hoda Kotb became a mother at the age of 52

Of all her incredible accomplishments in life, the talk show host made her dreams come true when she became a mother at the age of 52. According to People, Hoda Kotb was unable to conceive after her cancer procedure but the newscaster knew that she wanted to have a family.

"One of the things in my life I've always wanted was to be a mom," Kotb told the publication. "Sometimes in your life, things just don't work out for whatever reason, so you say, 'Well, I wasn't meant to have that.' But it was really hard to come to terms with it." Her and her boyfriend of three years at the time decided they were going to adopt, and that's how they ended up with their two gorgeous daughters.

"I wake up sometimes and go, 'Oh my God, I have a baby!'" she told the publication shortly after the arrival of her first child. "But it feels totally real. I guess if you've been waiting this long for something, and you wish for it, pray for it, hope for it, wonder if it will ever be, and then it happens, nothing's more real. Nothing."

Hoda Kotb has written seven books

You might not know this, but being a news anchor isn't the only job that Hoda Kotb currently has. She is also an author who has published a whopping seven books in her life. That's a lot.

Two of the books are children's books, which are actually inspired by her being a mother. "That time at night [with your child] is so incredibly special to me and I feel like I just don't want to waste it," Kotb said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," according to People. "I think when you wait 52 years to do something, you really hold on to every second."

Kotb also has a memoir, two books telling inspiring stories of others, and two quote books out right now. According to USA Today, one of the quote books was published during the pandemic and really helped people through the tough time. If you're not following the pattern, Kotb is constantly giving a voice and her support to others — even when times are tough for her. 

She goes to bed (and wakes up) extremely early

What's the secret behind this incredible woman and all of her success, you ask? Well, part of it is her routine. According to Prevention, Hoda Kotb wakes up at 3 a.m. every single morning and heads downstairs for some personal journaling before she dives into her "news homework" for the day.

Her day actually ends pretty early as well. She tells Prevention that she starts to wind down at about 7 p.m. for the night and tries to avoid all the negative before bed. "I try not to scroll Twitter at the end of the day to see what's trending, in case there's a news item for tomorrow. I try to stay away from anything negative. There's only so much a human can ingest before you feel that despair, so I always keep a quote book next to my bed," she said.

Basically, she's a really good example of what it looks like to know the life you want to live and make the necessary changes to go about making it your reality. Also, her sleep routine also explains a lot about why she's so awake and alert for the news every morning.

She split from her fiancé after 8 years together

As if all of those major life changes weren't enough, Hoda Kotb also recently ended her engagement to her boyfriend of eight years, Joel Schiffman. The news anchor announced on Today's "Hoda & Jenna" that the two of them decided they were better off as friends and co-parents.

"It's not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, or a season, or for a lifetime. And I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season," she said, according to People. Although this time may be difficult, there's no doubt in our minds that Kotb will get through it. After all, she's already gotten through so much in her life. 

From big breaks to heartbreaks, Kotb has gone through a whole lot, but if her story doesn't inspire you to keep going after your dreams, then we don't know what will.