Breaking! Lester Holt shared 25 things you don’t know about him exclusively with Us Weekly. Find out what the NBC Nightly News anchor, 58, told Us about his fear of snakes, his stand-up comedy past and that time he was rejected by NBC.
1. I love airplanes. Growing up on Air Force bases, I certainly had the “bug,” but I never earned my pilot’s license. Instead, I fly flight simulators on my computer.
2. As a high school senior, I testified before a committee of the California legislature in support of a bill that would have allowed 17-year-olds to register to vote.
3. In 1979, I was rejected for a job at NBC’s flagship radio station, WNBC. I got a letter saying I wasn’t what they were looking for. I still smile every time I look at it.
4. I wouldn’t ask out my now-wife until her roommate assured me she’d say yes.
5. I have a fear of snakes.
6. A juror instruction video I recorded in the mid-’90s still plays in Chicago’s Cook County Court.
7. I could eat Mexican food every day.
8. I like scary movies. Among my favorites: The Hills Have Eyes and 2005’s The Descent.
9. Shortly before I left Chicago to join MSNBC, I shaved off the mustache I had for my whole TV career following a lousy day of skiing and a couple of beers.
10. I lived in Alaska from when I was 8 until I was 12 because my father was stationed at Anchorage’s Elmendorf Air Force Base.
11. I used to be the lead singer in church.
12. I recorded two songs on the soundtrack for the medical series House with the celebrity group Band From TV.
13. Running with the bulls in Spain used to be on my bucket list until maturity and the responsibility of my role at NBC won out.
14. The only assignment I ever refused required me to parachute out of a plane with the interview subject.
15. While I’m based in New York, I maintain an apartment in the L.A. area and often anchor NBC Nightly News from our L.A. studio.
16. I have not owned a car in nearly 10 years.
17. I like to bake desserts, especially cobblers and pies. I’ll take a tart over a chocolate soufflé any day.
18. I speak a little Italian.
19. I’m dangerous when it comes to mechanical things. I once installed a garage shelf that then collapsed, sending buckets of paint falling onto our babysitter’s car.
20. I’m a morning person.
21. I always have to have the latest device. I travel with two phones, an iPad, a laptop and an Apple Watch.
22. I dabbled in stand-up comedy.
23. People are often surprised I don’t golf.
24. I only attended college for two years, but I have two honorary doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University and California State University, Sacramento.
25. I never learned to type, so I use four fingers to write. Thank God for autocorrect.
NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt airs on NBC weekdays at 6:30 p.m.