Maria Menounos was born on June 8, 1978 in Medford, Massachusetts. She attended Emerson College in Boston and participated in the Emerson Independent Video organization before graduating in 2000. She worked as a reporter for Channel One News, where she interviewed the at-the-time president George W. Bush, and eventually made her way to hosting on Entertainment Tonight, MTV, and VH1. She covered the AIDS epidemic in South Africa that lead to her creating “Take Action Hollywood!” in order to raise awareness and improve quality of life through film.
Menounos was a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight from 2002 to 2005 and was included in People magazine’s 2004 list of the 50 Most Beautiful People. After leaving Entertainment Tonight, she moved on to the competitor company Access Hollywood, where she would cover the South Africa AIDS epidemic. She would also work on NBC News Today as a West Coast contributor.