Willard Scott, former weatherman on NBC’s “Today” program, dies at the age of 87

Willard Scott, the beloved weatherman who charmed viewers of NBC’s “Today” program with his self-deprecating humor and cheerful personality, is dead. He was 87.

His successor on the morning news show, Al Roker, announced that Scott died peacefully Saturday morning surrounded by family. A spokesman for NBC Universal confirmed the news. No further details were released.

“He really was my second father and is where I am today because of his generous spirit,” Roker wrote on Instagram. “Willard was a man of his time, the ultimate television station. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

“He played such a big role in my life and was just as warm and loving and generous outside the camera as he was on,” Katie Couric tweeted.

Scott began his 65-year career on NBC as an entry-level site at an affiliated station in Washington, DC, and rose to become weather forecaster on the network’s flagship morning show for more than three decades. His trademark was to provide on-air birthday greetings to viewers who turned 100 years old by putting their faces on Smukkers jelly glass and delivering weather updates in great costumes.

TODAY – Pictured: NBC News’ Willard Scott in April 1980 – Photo by: NBC / NBC NewsWire

NBC NewsWire

According to NBC, he once took a viewer’s turn to appear in a row to win a $ 1,000 donation to USO, a charity for military families, by dressing up as Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda. The stunt was not new to the genius Scott: he played Bozo the Clown when he hosted a children’s TV show in the 1960s and Ronald McDonald in commercials in the Washington area.

He often dressed as Santa Claus at the National Tree Lighting ceremony throughout the 1980s and was rooted in NBC’s coverage of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade between 1987 and 1997. In a memorable moment on live television, First Lady Barbara Bush gave him a kiss. during the 1989 inauguration parade for her husband, President George HW Bush.

“(The President) said, ‘I did not know you knew Willard Scott.’ I said, ‘I do not know Willard Scott. I just love that face,’ “the first lady remembered.

Scott handed over the reins to Roker in 1996, occasionally filling in for him in the next decade before retiring in 2015.

He survives his wife, Paris Keena, whom he married in 2014, and two daughters with Mary Dwyer Scott, his wife of 43 years, until she died in 2002.

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