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All About Hoda Kotb's Mother Sameha Kotb

'Today' show host Hoda Kotb credits her mom for her optimism and strength

<p>Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty</p> Hoda Kotb and her mother Sameha celebrate the launch of Hoda

Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Hoda Kotb and her mother Sameha celebrate the launch of Hoda's book 'How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee'

Longtime Today show host and broadcast journalist Hoda Kotb has built a career out of resiliency and hard work — and she credits her mother, Sameha Kotb, for giving her strength.

A former staff member of the Library of Congress, Sameha, known by many as “Sami,” is a mother of three, a grandmother of four, a runner and even a fashion stylist.

Throughout Hoda’s time on the Today show, she has stopped by the set a few times to offer up some family favorite recipes. She’s also been there for Hoda through hard times, including when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In her keynote address for the Library of Congress’ 2010 celebration of Women’s History Month, Hoda shared that “You can do it!” has been her mother’s mantra.

The broadcast journalist has also spoken about Sameha’s optimism, a trait she passed on to her daughter.

“She falls in love over and over and over again with people, with places, with a new dish. She wakes up happy. I don’t care if there’s a hurricane approaching. She’ll look outside and go, ‘Maybe not this moment, but it will be nice in about an hour,’ ” Hoda wrote on Today’s blog.

Here’s everything to know about Hoda Kotb’s mother, Sameha Kotb.

She’s Hoda’s fashion stylist

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty</p> Sameha Kotb and Hoda Kotb on May 11, 2017.

Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Sameha Kotb and Hoda Kotb on May 11, 2017.

As a morning show host, Hoda has a secret weapon for looking so put together all the time: her mom. In 2020, she revealed details on E!’s Pop of the Morning.

"Your mom styles you for the show,” E! host Lilliana Vazquez said on the air.

“Yeah, if I’m wearing a good outfit, she picked it,” Hoda replied. “If I’m wearing one of the other ones, somebody else — I bought it myself.”

She’s a mom of three

<p>Hoda Kotb instagram</p> Hoda Kotb and her family.

Hoda Kotb instagram

Hoda Kotb and her family.

Hoda is just one of three kids to her mom, Sameha, who also shares daughter Hala and son Adel with Hoda’s late father, Abdel Kader Kotb.

Adel is a civil engineer and father of two. Hoda often celebrates her siblings on social media.

All of Sameha’s children have been there to support her when she needed them, including when she ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Hoda recounted the story for Today’s blog.

“My sister Hala, Adel and I joined her in D.C. to cheer her on. We waved to her at the starting line and mapped out all the spots where we’d be able to yell to her. At Mile 3 she looked great, waving and smiling. Mile 6 was a problem. Temperatures had soared and the heat was getting to my mom — with 20 miles to go! When we saw her again at Mile 10, she was really struggling,” Hoda wrote.

After her sister Hala urged her to go in and help, Hoda started running with her since her sister wore sandals and her brother wore loafers that day and she was the only one in sneakers.

“For the next few miles, I ran with my mom. We talked and walked and ran when we could,” Hoda continued. “Eventually, we heard the trumpeting of the Marine Corps Band welcoming runners to the finish line. I stopped short so my mom could cross by herself. She did it!”

She’s “Tata” to Hoda’s kids

<p>Hoda Kotb Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb with her sister Hala, mom Sameha, and kids Hope and Haley.

Hoda Kotb Instagram

Hoda Kotb with her sister Hala, mom Sameha, and kids Hope and Haley.

Hoda is a mother herself to two kids, Haley Joy and Hope Catherine. While Sameha is their grandmother, they have a special name for her: Tata.

Tata is the informal word for grandma in Lebanese Arabic. Sameha and Hoda are of Arabic descent, and their family even lived in Egypt for a year when Hoda was young.

Hoda has often credited her mother for inspiring her approach to parenting.

“She was a great mom. She was strict," she told Today in 2016. "That was how we lived. You understood what no meant. There was no 'But everyone else is doing it.’ She couldn’t have cared less what anyone else was doing.”

Sameha is also a grandmother to Adel’s children: Hannah, a current Cornell University student, and Ella.

“She loves her grandkids and they love her beyond,” Hoda said on the Today show.

She’s been there for Hoda in her hardest and proudest moments

<p>Hoda Kotb Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb with her mom Sameha and sister Hala.

Hoda Kotb Instagram

Hoda Kotb with her mom Sameha and sister Hala.

While Sameha is great for fashion advice, she has also supported her daughter through some of life’s harder moments.

When Hoda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, her mother was one of the last people she saw before being wheeled into surgery for a double mastectomy.

“I remember the doctor looked at my mom, who was terrified, and she said, ‘Miss Kotb, I’m gonna take care of your little girl and bring her home,’ " Hoda recalled on the Today show in May 2023.

She was also by her side when her daughter Haley was hospitalized in 2023, and also when Hoda first welcomed Haley into the family.

“I remember when I placed Haley in my mom’s arms, and I thought to myself, 'Who would have ever thought that could happen?' From that moment there in the hospital to this moment, watching my mom hold my children. It’s like, God is good,” Hoda said during a segment on the Today show.

She worked for the Library of Congress

<p>Hoda Kotb Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb's mother Sameha Kotb with her sister Hala Kotb and brother Adel Kotb.

Hoda Kotb Instagram

Hoda Kotb's mother Sameha Kotb with her sister Hala Kotb and brother Adel Kotb.

Sameha is now retired, but she worked for the Library of Congress for more than 30 years. During her time there, she maintained close relationships with her colleagues.

“I can’t remember a time when my mom didn’t work. She has forever been on the move — a go-getter,” Hoda said of her mom in a Today article about Sameha being her hero.

“To this day, my mom’s unsinkable spirit is an inspiration to me. Everyone knows Sameha simply as ‘Sami,’ “ Hoda said in 2012, speaking about her mom’s coworkers.

“Along with 500 miles of shelved books, her closest friendships are cataloged in that library. They are as much the value of work to my mom as is the work itself,” she continued.

Hoda remembers her mom as always being a hard worker who even helped her out when she was a kid with a paper route.

“When my brother Adel and I had a paper route as kids, my mom would get up before us at the crack of dawn to drop off the Washington Post at different corners. That would lighten our load as we walked and delivered papers to each area.”

She visits Hoda at work

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty</p> Hoda Kotb, Sami Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on the 'Today' show on May 11, 2017.

Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Hoda Kotb, Sami Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on the 'Today' show on May 11, 2017.

While she started helping Hoda at work when she was a kid with a paper route, Sameha is still showing up for her daughter at work.

During Hoda’s time on the Today show, Sameha stopped by a few times to cook with her. Together, the mother-daughter duo whipped up recipes including pesto salmon, pasta, pot roast, cauliflower mash and even baklava.

“My mom’s roast is great comfort food. It always reminds me of home. And her cauliflower mash is the best,” Hoda said while cooking with her mom on the Today show.

“If I only had a fraction of the talent my mom has in the kitchen, I would be happy,” she added.

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