Matt Lauer left Ohio University only four credits away from a degree, but by that point the 22-year-old was working steadily in local news as both a producer and an on-air personality. As he progressed, working through larger and larger markets, he honed his interviewing skills hosting a variety of local-interest talk shows. In the early '90s, Lauer landed at the NBC-owned local station in New York, which led to him occasionally appearing on The Today Show, eventually becoming the show's regular newsreader in 1994. He ascended to the co-anchor spot beside Katie Couric on January 6, 1997. During his time on the show, he conducted a number of memorable interviews, including a contentious conversation with Tom Cruise about psychology and the first national interview with Hillary Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal became public knowledge. Lauer also became known for a recurring segment called "Where in the World Is Matt Lauer," in which he would travel to a different place in the world every day for a week or more.
Biography by Perry Seibert
- In 1979, left Ohio University four credits short of graduation; some 18 years later, was awarded his undergraduate degree and delivered the school's commencement address.
- Began his broadcast journalism career at WOWK-TV, in Huntington, WV, as a news producer.
- After working at numerous TV stations throughout the 1980s and '90s, was hired as a news anchor for NBC's Today; in 1997, succeeded Bryant Gumbel as its coanchor.
- In 2007, celebrated ten years of co-anchoring NBC's Today.
- In 2008, was the guest of honor at The Friars Club of New York Celebrity Roast, where he was roasted by Al Roker, Katie Couric, Tom Cruise, and others.
- Underwent surgery to repair a separated shoulder after he fell off his bike while trying to avoid a run-in with a deer on Long Island in 2009.
- In addition to covering the 2010 Winter Olympics with his Today co-hosts from Vancouver, Canada, he was also chosen to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay; he carried the torch through the town of Burnaby, British Columbia.
- Briefly replaced Bob Costas as NBC's primetime Olympics host during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi when Costas developed an eye infection.