NEW YORK (AP) — Willard Scott, the beloved weatherman who charmed viewers of NBC’s “Today” show with his self-deprecating humor and cheerful personality, has died. He was 87.
His successor on the morning news show, Al Roker, announced that Scott died peacefully Saturday morning surrounded by family. No further details were released.
“He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit,” Roker wrote on Instagram. “Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”
Scott joined the “Today” show as a weather forecaster in 1980 and remained in the role through 1996. He continued to appear on the program, however, announcing centenarian birthdays until his retirement in 2015.
Upon his retirement, the plaza outside Rockefeller Center was also renamed Willard Scott Way in his honor.
Scott, born in 1934, first began working for NBC as a page in 1950, Today.com reported. He later became a weatherman for an NBC affiliate in 1970, but not before a successful career as a radio presenter and television host.
In addition to his television appearances, Scott worked at WAVY Radio in Portsmouth starting in 1956. He was part of the trio that hosted ‘WAVY Nifty Fifty.”
He made an appearance during WAVY’s 50th Anniversary special in 2007 honoring his time in Hampton Roads.
His credits also include a stint as the very first actor to portray Ronald McDonald in a series of commercials for McDonald’s.
Scott is survived by his wife Paris and his two children, NBC News reports.