Willard ScottGetty Images

Willard Scott forecast the weather on the US morning program TODAY for more than three decades and spent 65 years at NBC.

Photo: Getty Images

04 September 2021 |  Drew Weisholtz | NBC Today

Willard Scott — the legendary TODAY weatherman known for his exuberant personality and launching the tradition of celebrating fans who reached the century mark — died this morning, TODAY’s Al Roker has confirmed. Scott was 87 years old.

“We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning,” Roker shared on Instagram. “Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris. He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

Willard Scott — the legendary TODAY weatherman known for his exuberant personality and launching the tradition of celebrating fans who reached the century mark — died this morning, TODAY’s Al Roker has confirmed. Scott was 87 years old.

“We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning,” Roker shared on Instagram. “Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris. He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

TODAY co-anchor Bryant Gumbel, weatherman Willard Scott, co-anchor John Palmer and co-anchor Jane Pauley.Getty Images

Scott, who began his 65-year career with NBC as a page at the affiliate station in Washington, D.C., in 1950, would also do his forecasts on the road, delighting locals with his unflagging charm.

”I just love people,” he told The New York Times in 1987. ”A lot of speakers on the talk circuit leave right afterward. I do a lot of shmoozing. I’m like a dog. You just open the door and I go, ‘rrrr, rrrr,’ and then I lick everybody’s face.”

During a 30th Anniversary celebration of “Today” in January 1982, program veteran Willard Scott meets up with David Letterman on the street shortly before he was to begin his long-running late night series.

Born March 7, 1934 in Alexandria, Virginia, Scott’s broadcasting career began in the 1950s, after he graduated from American University in Washington.

In 1955, he began hosting the “Joy Boys” radio show on the NBC radio station WRC and remain on the program until it ended in 1974.

In the 1960s, he also hosted children’s TV shows and appeared on WRC playing a wide range of characters, including Bozo the Clown, a bygone children’s icon who appeared on airwaves around the country in the ’60s and ’70s.

Born March 7, 1934 in Alexandria, Virginia, Scott’s broadcasting career began in the 1950s, after he graduated from American University in Washington.

In 1955, he began hosting the “Joy Boys” radio show on the NBC radio station WRC and remain on the program until it ended in 1974.

In the 1960s, he also hosted children’s TV shows and appeared on WRC playing a wide range of characters, including Bozo the Clown, a bygone children’s icon who appeared on airwaves around the country in the ’60s and ’70s.

TODAY weatherman Willard Scott, dressed as Carmen Miranda, took up a viewer’s dare for Scott to appear in drag for $1,000 donation to the USO.Getty Images

No gimmick was too much for Scott. In 1985, he did the weather dressed as Boy George while the singer was at the height of his fame. He also dressed up as a giant Cupid on Valentine’s Day, in a barrel on the day taxes were due and a groundhog to celebrate Groundhog Day.

His most memorable stunt, though, may have been dressing up as Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda in a 1983 episode of TODAY in order to secure a $1,000 donation to the USO. He took some flak for it, but stood by it.

”People said I was a buffoon to do it,” he told The New York Times in that 1987 interview. ”Well, all my life I’ve been a buffoon. That’s my act.”

In 1983, Scott honored a viewer’s request to wish his mother a happy 100th birthday, which began the tradition of of greetings to centenarians that is still going strong today.

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