Early life, family, educational background
American financier and entrepreneur Joel Schiffman, was born on 21 March 1958, in Denver, Colorado USA. He is best known to the public for being in a relationship with broadcast journalist Hoda Kotb. Not much is known about his family, upbringing or childhood, but he does have at least one sibling, his sister, Beth Schiffman.
In 1981, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Economics and during his time at university, he played on their rugby team. In 1995, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a master’s in finance, and from the university’s Wharton School of Business, he earned his certificate in Investment Management Analysis (CIMA). He grew up in Colorado, but currently lives in New York City.
Who is Hoda Kotb?
American television personality, broadcast journalist and author, Hoda Kotb was born on 9 August 1964, in Norman, Oklahoma USA. She is best known for being the co-anchor of the NBC News morning show, “Today” – along with longtime friend Kathie Lee Gifford, she co-hosts NBC’s entertainment-focused segment on “Today”, the “Fourth Hour.” With Jenna Bush Hager, she also co-hosts “Today with Hoda & Jenna.” She used to be a correspondent for NBC’s magazine program, “Dateline NBC,” and has also worked on “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” appeared in a cameo in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, as well as in a few other television shows.
She grew up in Alexandria, Virginia; Morgantown, West Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents are from Egyp, and for a year, she lived there with her family, and they also lived in Nigeria.
She has a sister, Hala and brother, Adel. Her father, Adel Kader Kotb was honored in the list of Who’s Who of Technology as a fossil energy specialist; he passed away in 1986 at the age of 51. Hoda’s mother, Sameha “Sami,” worked at the Library of Congress.
In 1982 Hoda matriculated from Fort Hunt High School – she was chosen to speak at her matriculating class’s baccalaureate, and was elected homecoming queen. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta women’s sorority, Beta Ny Chapter in college, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. At her alma mater’s 2008 Virginia Tech graduation, she was the keynote speaker – in the background, she played “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, from her iPod. In 2010 she was elected for a three-year term to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 2005 she married Burzis Kanga, the former University of New Orleans tennis coach, but they divorced in 2008 for unknown reasons.
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Having to undergo a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer in March 2007, she became an advocate for raising awareness of breast cancer by allowing viewers of the “Today” show to follow her journey throughout her battle against the disease. She continued to share her story and raise awareness even after being announced cancer-free. She has been nominated for and won a number of awards, such as the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine in 2010.
Joel worked his way up and eventually became the senior vice president of the investment banking company, Kidder Peabody, even though he did not have any form of certification. He then returned to his home to Denver to be the consulting group director of Smith Barney. He remained in the company for nine years, then became the principal director of marketing at Trail Ridge Capital.
He served as the senior vice president of business development and client services at Reed, Conner & Birdwell upon his return to Los Angeles in 2005. He has also worked as the senior relationship manager of New York-based Columbia Management National Accounts. In early 2019, the Schroder Investment Management in New York expanded and reorganized, and hired Joel as the Head of the US Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales. From that position, he was eventually promoted to the director and vice president of Janus Capital Group. He has said that his job requires him to develop, build and maintain strong, professional relationships with key insurance partners, which ‘includes developing and implementing investment and sales strategies designed to assist our partners in achieving their sales goals and investors their retirement goals.’ Overall, his job requires a lot of the public’s trust, which could be a contributing factor as to why he keeps his personal life private.
From a relationship before Hoda, he had a daughter, Kyle Schiffman who was born in 1994, in Denver – she currently lives in San Jose, California and studies at the Santa Clara University School of Law. Joel keeps his personal life private, so the identity of Kyle’s mother is not known. Kyle is reportedly supportive of her father’s relationship with Hoda, and has even visited the set of the “Today” show and pleasantly shared her experience on her social media.
Joel began dating Hoda in 2013, but kept their relationship a secret from the public for the first few years. Hoda would speak about him on “Today,” but gave him the alias ‘Boots.’ On 20 January 2015, British media company the “Daily Mail” published photographs of the pair on vacation, considered their first appearance together as a couple, and after which Hoda confirmed their relationship. At the time, Billy Bush was standing-in for Hoda as co-host on the “Today” show, and interviewed Hoda after the photo’s release.
He spoke about how she had protected her relationship from the public for two years, but they were eventually caught by the British press while on a private vacation on a beach. Hoda said that it felt strange, yet relieving that after two years of avoiding saying his name on camera and only referring to him as ‘Boots’ ‘…because we just showed his shoes [on the show]…’ their relationship was finally open to the public. She continued, ‘Joel is out from the shadows! I feel some relief. I talked to him this morning, and he said, “Who cares? Who cares!”[what people think].’ When their relationship became more serious, Hoda planned a double-date with Kathie Lee Gifford and her late husband and former sports commentator and football player, Frank Gifford. On “Watch What Happens Live,” Hoda spoke about the double-date with her “Today” co-host: ‘Look, he loved [Kathie-Lee]. He met Frank — he was enamored.
I mean, come on, he was on bended knee.’ On her SiriusXM series, “The Hoda Show,” in October 2016, she announced that she was moving in with Joel, ‘[We] are getting an apartment together, so we went to see it with the measuring tape.’ She added that it felt weird to be in her 50s and announce she was moving in with her boyfriend, that it felt as if they were children again.
In February 2017, she announced on the “Today” show that they’d adopted a baby girl, Hayley Joy Kotb, due to her inability to conceive following her 2007 cancer treatment, and age. Hayley was born on Valentine’s Day that same year. They gave her the middle name, ‘Joy’ because of the happiness she brings to Joel and Hoda. She insisted that even though Joel’s surname was not given to Hayley, he is still her father and she would call him ‘dad.’
In an interview with People magazine, she stated that Joel and herself worked through a New York adoption agency, and were advised that leaving Joel’s surname out of the paperwork would help simplify the process. In September 2018, Hoda appeared on “Watch What Happens Live” with host Andy Cohen, and shared that she met Joel at an event she didn’t actually want to attend. Despite her reluctance, she had to make an appearance because it was organized by Tyler Mathisen, the husband of the executive producer of the “Today” show, LaMarca Mathisen. Hoda recalled the night saying that it was raining and she had to give a speech, but everybody was bored; nevertheless, the crowd was not her style as they were mostly Wall Street men. After her speech, she was scheduled to sign autographs; it was at the signing that she met the ‘Jewish gentleman.’
Joel caught Hoda’s attention when he joked with her about the signing, and she responded by saying that virtually nobody was queueing up. He gave her something to sign, and when she asked who she must dedicate it to, he jokingly responded, ‘How about to me?’ Following the event, Hoda asked the event organizers about Joel and whether or not he was single. Hearing about her interest in him, Joel asked her out on a date via email. In her interview with Andy Cohen, he asked whether or not she planned to marry Joel. Hoda responded by saying that, ‘I’m going to be with Joel until my last breath – I know that.’ Through a live phone call in April 2019, she announced the adoption of their second daughter, Hope Catherine Kotb. Hoda told Entertainment Tonight, ‘We like the idea of Haley [having] a sibling because she has had such interesting circumstances to grow up. So it would be nice to be able to share it with somebody.’
Happy bday Joel❤️ pic.twitter.com/tCyUuqKVyP
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) March 21, 2020
In June 2019, Hoda posted an Instagram photo with Joel in celebration of their 6-year anniversary, thanking LaMarca Mathisen and Tyler Mathisen for forcing her to go to the event where she met Joel. On 25 November 2019, Hoda told her co-stars that Joel proposed to her during dinner on a beach, while on vacation in Mexico. On “Today,” she shared the special moment, ‘And he was like, ‘I have something else I would like to say,’ and he said some beautiful things, and then he got down on one knee. Then he said, ‘Would you be my wife?’ Hayley and Hope will be part of their wedding. Hoda told Hayley, ‘Mommy and Daddy love each other, so we’re having a party. She’s gonna be in it. And Hope, too.’
Joel has grey hair and dark brown eyes. He is 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall and weighs 180lbs (82kgs).
Net worth and salary
According to comparilist.com, as of early 2020, his net worth is estimated at $19 million.