Longtime weathercaster John Coleman died at his home in Las Vegas on Saturday at the age of 83. Coleman was best known for his role as the original weathercaster on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the 1970s and for spearheading the creation of The Weather Channel, which debuted in 1982. In recent years, he was among the most outspoken of public figures denying the validity of mainstream climate science.
“Thirty five years ago John Coleman and others founded The Weather Channel to answer a demand for around-the-clock weather information,” said TWC in a statement on Monday. “We will forever appreciate his vision that we continue to this day as the demand for severe weather coverage and hyper-local forecasting is at an all-time high.”
Coleman’s on-air career was a rarity in weathercasting: it extended from the early days of television all the way to the 2010s. A native of Alpine, Texas, Coleman began weathercasting at WCIA-TV (Champaign, IL) in the mid-1950s while earning his bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Illinois. Coleman then worked his way up the TV-weathercasting ladder at several Midwest locations, including Peoria, Omaha, and Milwaukee, before landing in Chicago, where he rose to regional fame at WBBM (1967-68), WLS (1968-79), and WMAQ (1984-90).