Willie Geist

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Willie Geist
Willie Geist.JPG
Born (1975-05-03) May 3, 1975 (age 39)
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Alma mater Vanderbilt University
Occupation Television personality
Years active 1997–present
Notable credit(s) Morning Joe Co-Host
Today Show third hour Co-Anchor
NBC News Correspondent
Political party
Independent [1]
Spouse(s) Christina Sharkey Geist
Children Lucie Joy, George William
Parents Bill Geist and Jody Geist
Relatives Great grandson of Herbie Lewis

Willie Geist (born William Russell Geist, May 3, 1975) is an American television personality. He is co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and co-anchor of NBC's Today's Take the third hour of The Today Show. Geist serves as a fill-in anchor on the Today Show for Matt Lauer and for Lester Holt (weekends). Geist also is a Correspondent for NBC News and NBC Sports, hosting NBC's Olympic coverage.

Geist is the co-author of The New York Times bestselling book Good Talk, Dad, written in 2014 with his father Bill Geist. Geist also is the author of The New York Times bestseller American Freak Show, released on October 12, 2010, and of Loaded! Become a Millionaire Overnight and Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks or Your Money Back!, a satire of the popular self-help genre, released on May 10, 2011.

Personal life[edit]

Geist was born in Evanston, Illinois, to author, columnist, and current CBS News correspondent Bill Geist and social worker Jody Geist.

He attended Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he was captain of the football and basketball teams. He later went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt, he was an editor of the university's official student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler.[2]

On May 24, 2003, Geist married his high-school sweetheart, Christina Sharkey, in Humacao, Puerto Rico.[3] The couple has a daughter, Lucie Joy Geist (b. June 14, 2007), and a son, George William Geist (July 8, 2009).

Geist is the older brother of Libby Wildes, the Peabody Award-winning documentary film producer (Crazy Love, Black Magic, Ring of Fire), who is married to Kevin Wildes of ESPN, "Mr. Half Baked Ideas." [4]

Geist is the great-grandson of Herbie Lewis, who captained the Detroit Red Wings to two Stanley Cups and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.[citation needed]


Geist began his career as an editor and producer for CNN Sports Illustrated and subsequently a field producer and reporter for CNN Sports, where he covered The Super Bowl, The NCAA Final Four, and The Masters.[2]

In 2004, he became a writer and producer for I, Max, a short-lived sports commentary show hosted by Max Kellerman on Fox Sports Net. He joined MSNBC television in April 2005 as a senior producer of The Situation with Tucker Carlson.

Geist began substituting as a co-host on MSNBC's 6–9 a.m. morning time slot almost immediately after Don Imus was fired in late April 2007. Geist was named permanent co-host of Morning Joe, along with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in September 2007. In late July 2009, Geist began hosting his own 30-minute program Way Too Early with Willie Geist. The show currently airs from 5:30 to 6 a.m. (immediately before Morning Joe) on MSNBC.[5] In 2010, Geist began substituting for Matt Lauer as host of the Today Show and as the show's newsreader. In October 2012, it was announced that Geist will co-host the 3rd hour of Today, and would leave Way Too Early.

Geist contributed to NBC Sports and NBC News's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Career timeline[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

In its "Best of NYC 2009" issue, The Village Voice declared Geist the "Best TV Sidekick Who Deserves His Own Show," writing, "Memo to MSNBC: Instead of "Countdown" reruns at 10 p.m., give Willie a proper talk show—you might have a contempo Dick Cavett on your hands." On December 28, 2009, Way Too Early with Willie Geist was listed by The Daily Beast as one of "25 Ways To Get Smarter in 2010". The Daily Beast compared Geist's combination of news and humor to Jon Stewart's on the Comedy Central network and Rachel Maddow's on the MSNBC network, calling Way Too Early "2010's must-watch cable news show." He was also featured in the television show The Daily Show hosted by Jon Stewart on June 30, 2011.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fung, Katherine (November 18, 2011). "Scarborough Reveals Surprising Information About Mika Brzezinski". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ a b MSNBC (April 5, 2007). "Willie Geist: MSNBC contributor". MSNBC. Retrieved August 1, 2007. 
  3. ^ Donnelly, Shannon (June 1, 2003). "Wedding Vows/Celebrations". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The B.S. Report: 5/11". 
  5. ^ Skowronski, Lauren (July 15, 2009). "Way Too Early with Willie Geist To Debut July 27 on MSNBC". Retrieved July 16, 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]