As one of television’s most compelling personalities Akbar Gbajabiamila reigns supreme as host NBC's 4-time Emmy nominated, heart-racing obstacle course competition series American Ninja Warrior. In addition, a former NFL star player, Akbar hosts Peacock’s award winning show, American Ninja Warrior Jr, entering it’s third season. Read More >
His debut book Everyone Can Be a Ninja: Find Your Inner Warrior and Achieve Your Dreams hit shelves in May of 2019, with the paperback version set to be released in March of 2020. Akbar just returned from hosting Tokyo Live! for Peacock network, and has previously hosted Miss USA, as well as multiple years hosting Red Nose Day on NBC and the Macy’s forth of July Fireworks.
Akbar is honored to leverage his formidable professional platform to inspire and motivate others as well as advocate for those in need. Currently, he serves on the board for the Asomugha Foundation, which provides pathways to college for disenfranchised youth, as well as for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He is also privileged to be a celebrity ambassador for Red Nose Day, which since its inception in 2015 raised more than $150 million dollars to fight child poverty. Moreover, Akbar is a strong proponent of financial literacy, lending his time and energy to educating young people and pro athletes.
Akbar grew up in hard-scrabble South Central LA, one of seven children of Nigerian immigrants. A solid family foundation coupled with a natural athletic ability made him a stand-out high school student athlete, excelling in both basketball and football. Akbar went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies, while attending San Diego State University on a football scholarship and then spent five years in the NFL as a linebacker and defensive end with the Oakland Raiders, Chargers (San Diego), and Miami Dolphins before retiring in 2008.
Akbar began his broadcasting career while still playing for the Chargers as a contributor to KLSD 1360 AM and as a co-host for Football Night in San Diego (NBC 7). He went on to serve as an analyst on the MountainWest Sports Network (formerly mtn.) and CBS Sports before joining the NFL Network.
He and his wife live in Los Angeles where they are raising their family. Read Less ^