Willie Geist

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Willie Geist
Willie Geist.JPG
Geist in 2008
Born William Russell Geist
(1975-05-03) May 3, 1975 (age 42)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality United States of America
Alma mater Vanderbilt University
Occupation Television personality, journalist, humorist
Years active 1997–present
Notable credit(s) Morning Joe (co-host)
Sunday Today (anchor)
NBC News (correspondent)
Political party Independent[1]
Spouse(s) Christina Sharkey Geist
Children Lucie Joy, George William
Relatives Libby Geist Wildes (sister)
Herbie Lewis (great-grandfather)

William Russell "Willie" Geist (born May 3, 1975) is an American television personality, journalist and humorist. He is co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and anchor of Sunday Today with Willie Geist. Geist also frequently serves as fill-in anchor on Today for Matt Lauer. Geist is a Correspondent for NBC News and NBC Sports, hosting and contributing to NBC's Olympic coverage.

Geist is the author or co-author of two humor books that have appeared on The New York Times bestseller list: Good Talk, Dad – written in 2014 with his father Bill Geist[2] – and American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures, released on October 12, 2010. His third book, the self-help satire Loaded! Become a Millionaire Overnight and Lose 20 Pounds in 2 Weeks or Your Money Back! 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.[citation needed]

He attended Ridgewood High School 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 and a member of Phi Delta Theta.[3]

On May 24, 2003, Geist married his high-school sweetheart, Christina Sharkey, in Humacao, Puerto Rico.[4] The couple has a daughter, Lucie Joy Geist (born June 14, 2007), and a son, George William Geist (July 8, 2009).

Geist is the older brother of Libby Wildes, the Academy Award-winning documentary film producer (O.J.: Made in America, Crazy Love, Black Magic, Ring of Fire), who is married to Kevin Wildes of ESPN, "Mr. Half Baked Ideas."[5]

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.[6]


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.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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, which airs at 5:30 a.m. immediately before Morning Joe on MSNBC.[7] In 2010, Geist began substituting for Matt Lauer as host of the Today Show and as the show's newsreader. In November 2012, Geist became an official co-host of Today and left Way Too Early. In 2016, Geist was made solo-host of the new Sunday Today that launched in April.[8] Additionally Geist contributed to NBC Sports and NBC News's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.[citation needed]

Geist anchored NBC's hours-long coverage of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting on the morning of June 12, 2016. Geist was on the air for seven successive hours in an NBC News Special Report that aired across the United States.[9]

Willie Geist later did voice work in Kung Fu Panda 3 where he voiced Sum opposite of Al Roker's Dim where their characters are twin panda brothers who are related to Po.[citation needed]

Career timeline[edit]

  • (2004–2005): I, Max, Writer/Producer
  • (2005–present) MSNBC/NBC News/NBC Sports
    • (2005–2008): Tucker (formerly The Situation with Tucker Carlson)
    • (2006–present): Zeitgeist Host
    • (2006–2007): Scarborough Country
    • (2007–present): Morning Joe Co-Anchor
    • (2009–2012): Way Too Early Host
    • (2011–present): NBC News correspondent
    • (2012–present): NBC Sports contributor
    • (2012–2016): Today Show Third Hour Co-Anchor, 7–9 am contributor and fill-in news, Orange Room and co-anchor
    • (April 17, 2016–present): Sunday Today Solo-Anchor

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 to 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. ^ Bill Geist; Willie Geist. "Good Talk, Dad The Birds and the Bees...and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have". Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b MSNBC (April 5, 2007). "Willie Geist: MSNBC contributor". MSNBC. Retrieved August 1, 2007. 
  4. ^ Donnelly, Shannon (June 1, 2003). "Wedding Vows/Celebrations". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ "The B.S. Report: 5/11 – ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  6. ^ "Willie Geist on Twitter: "@rjjohnston6 My great grandfather Herbie Lewis. Won two Cups with the Red Wings in the '30s. Hall of Famer."". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  7. ^ Skowronski, Lauren (July 15, 2009). "Way Too Early with Willie Geist To Debut July 27 on MSNBC". Retrieved July 16, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ Chris Ariens (2016-03-31). "Willie Geist's Sunday Today Show Launches April 17 | TVNewser". Adweek.com. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  9. ^ Mark Joyella (2016-06-12). "Network Coverage Plans for Orlando Mass Shooting | TVNewser". Adweek.com. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 

External links[edit]