Hoda Kotb, the well-known anchor on NBC's "TODAY", has talked at length about her profound and heartfelt connection to Louisiana. It's a connection that seems to influence her personal and professional life. The city of New Orleans specifically holds a place in Kotb's heart.

Born in Norman, Oklahoma, and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Kotb's deep Louisiana ties can be traced back to her college years. But it was a job interview with WWL-TV in New Orleans that made her fall in love with the Big Easy. She has talked about her first impression of the city with a future co-worker who picked her up at the airport. She told New Orleans reporter  that she knew she would be moving to Louisiana before even stepping foot into the newsroom.

Kotb left WWL-TV for NBC News where she was a correspondent for Dateline for many years. Her role expanded with the fourth hour of TODAY with Kathie-Lee Gifford. She took the co-anchor chair with Savannah Guthrie after the much-publicized departure of Matt Lauer.

The state is frequently showcased on "TODAY" and other projects that Kotb is a part of. Her affection for the state also shines through charitable endeavors, often highlighting the resilient spirit of the people of Louisiana, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, her passionate support for various social causes related to the region has further solidified her commitment to raising awareness and fostering positive change within the community.

This year, TODAY with Hoda and Jenna was at Jazz Fest and even did a live show in Jackson Square with a backdrop of St. Louis Cathedral. I was at that show and got to see how passionate her fans are for their former hometown anchor. Through her heartfelt connections and unwavering dedication, Hoda Kotb continues to serve as a beacon of hope and resilience for the people of Louisiana.

During the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she got visibly emotional after talking to Saints Quarterback Drew Brees. He had just made a big donation to help the community and Kotb was overcome with emotion.

."}" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":33555201,"3":{"1":0},"11":4,"12":0,"28":1}">

See Country Stars Who Know #StJudeWontStop


More From 99.9 KTDY