Geist in 2008
William Russell Geist
May 3, 1975
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Vanderbilt University|
Christina Sharkey (m. 2003)
|Relatives||Herbie Lewis (great-grandfather)|
William Russell 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 a fill-in anchor on both the weekday edition and the Saturday edition of Today. 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 - 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.
Geist was born in Evanston, Illinois, the son of broadcast journalist Bill Geist and mother Jody Geist. Geist is the older brother of Libby Wildes, a documentary film producer. He is the great-grandson of Hockey Hall of Fame hockey player Herbie Lewis.
Geist attended George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where he began dating his future wife, Christina Sharkey. He later attended Ridgewood High School, where he played basketball and was the quarterback on the football team. He attended Vanderbilt University.
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.
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. 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. Additionally Geist contributed to NBC Sports and NBC News's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
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.
On May 24, 2003, Geist married his middle-school sweetheart Christina Sharkey, in Humacao, Puerto Rico. The couple has a daughter, Lucie Joy, and a son, George William. He is an Independent.