Lester Holt
Lester Holt will moderate the first debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Getty Images

MSNBC’s Lester Holt is taking over for "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams, who was handed a six-month suspension without pay as punishment for misrepresenting his experiences as a journalist in Iraq and on other stories. To get more familiar with Holt, now the substitute anchor of “Nightly News," here are some quick facts.

Iron Pants

Holt earned the nickname “Iron Pants” because of his ability to stay on air for hours. He earned the epithet after September 11, 2001. “Around here the nickname for Lester is Iron Pants, because he can sit down and anchor for hours,” MSNBC’s Mark Effron told People via The Heavy. Holt anchored a daily show on MSNBC, "Lester Holt Live."

Scud Stud of the Electoral College Crisis

This nickname came courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. MSNBC’s ratings rose 215 percent after Holt covered the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the Florida recount.

11 Nominations

During his two decades in broadcast journalism, Holt has been nominated for the Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast Emmy award 11 times, the Internet Movie Database wrote. He won as part of the "Today" show team that won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program in 2010.


Every once in a while, Holt takes a pause from breaking news to do a different type of television: acting. Holt has appeared on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and several episodes of “30 Rock”-- where he played himself.

He Issued Statement For Williams

During his first night filling in, Holt told “Nightly News” viewers that Williams would take a few days off. The following is an excerpt from his statement via News Busters:

“We want to take just a moment to tell you where Brian is tonight. In a message to his colleagues over the weekend, Brian told us he's taking 'several days' off this broadcast amid questions over how he recalled certain stories he covered. 'In a career spent covering the news,' Brian told us, it's clear he's 'become...too much a part of the news.'”

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