A photo showing Al Roker and his friend, Willard Scott smiling beautifully.

Al Roker Pays Tribute to the Late Willard Scott, Iconic TV Weatherman

Home / Entertainment / Al Roker Pays Tribute to the Late Willard Scott, Iconic TV Weatherman

By Favour Adegoke on September 6, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT

Al Roker paid his last respects on social media following the death of his "Today" co-host, Willard Scott. Roker took to his Instagram to share photos which featured himself and Scott, who passed away at the age of 87.

Scott died on September 4, 2021. He served as a weatherman on NBC for more than twenty years and was known for wishing viewers who turned hundred years old a happy birthday on air.

Scott was survived by his wife Paris Keena and his kids, Sally and Mary. The kids were from his previous marriage to Mary Scott, who died in 2002.

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In his post, Roker likened Scott to his "second dad," and was grateful to him for his career exploits. "He was truly my second dad and I 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."

Almost as soon as he posted the tweet, Jenna Bush Hager, the "Today with Hoda & Jenna" host, responded to it saying, "What a man! Thinking of you so."

A fan also wrote, "You were the first person I thought of when I saw this! You are in my thoughts and prayers."

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Scott's Stint With 'Today'

In 1980, Scott was hired by NBC  for the "Today" show to compete with her rival, "Good Morning, America."

After joining "Today" in March, Scott brought to the job a brand gimmick that harked back to the earlier times. He had a good sense of humour and spotted a string of unconventional outfits. He even wished American centenarians a happy birthday, all the while still talking about the forecast.

Scott, however, had no background in meteorology or any allied science. But as he readily acknowledged, the weatherman's job designed for the postmodern age didn't require that.

The only requirement actually needed, he pointed out, was the knowledge of the telephone number of the National Weather Service.

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In more than 20 years with "Today," Scott traversed the country, delivering the weather on location at county fairs, town parades and quaint byways across America, as well as from NBC’s studios in New York.

Scott remained a garrulous, funny-hatted, jovial, lively, larger- than-life American, who stood 6-foot-3 and weighed nearly 300 pounds. This was until his retirement with the show in 2015.

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Who Is Al Roker?

Roker is a well-known American weatherman, author and entrepreneur. He is the current weatherman on NBC's "Today," and a co-host on "3rd Hour Today."

He was born in New York City on August 20, 1954. He attended the State University of New York, where he bagged a degree in communications in 1976.

He was also related to the late actress Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis on the sitcom "The Jeffersons" and was the mother of rock musician Lenny Kravitz.

At first, Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. Later, he changed his mind and worked as a weatherman for "When TV"  in New York. During his time at the university, he became a disc jockey at the university's radio station.

A photo of Al Roker and Willard Scott holding hands while walking on a field.
Instagram | Al Roker
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Roker's career with NBC began in 1978 when he was hired at "WKYC" in Cleveland, an NBC owned-and-operated station. After five years in Cleveland, Roker was promoted to the network's flagship outlet, "WNBC-TV."

He returned to New York City as a weekend weatherman and within eight months, became the station's regular weeknight weatherman. He replaced 27-year "WNBC-TV" veteran Dr. Frank Field, who left the network over a contract dispute.

Roker is married to Deborah Roberts and they share three children.

Roker And Scott's Relationship

Scott, who was NBC's longtime weatherman, retired from the show after 35 years. In that period, he formed a close bond with Roker and the rest of "Today" co-hosts.

Roker even considered Scott his mentor and in his tribute post, he likened him to a second dad.

According to co-hosts of "Today," Scott was a kind man whose quirkiness had no boundaries. They described his stint with the show as "a television going from black-and-white to color."

Scott resurfaced on "Today" on August 2019 in a video wishing Al a happy 65th birthday.

"I can't believe it. My little guy is 65 years old," he said. "What's the world coming to? Hey, listen, now you can collect Social Security and you'll make even more money. What a lucky guy you are. You are nothing but the best. Who loves ya, baby? I do?"

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Al Roker and Willard Scott smiling at the camera beautifully at an event.
Instagram | Al Roker

His humor and tenderness was next to none, and would surely be missed.

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Tributes From Other People

Katie Courie, a former "Today" co-host also paid her respects to Scott on social media.

She wrote on Twitter, "He played such an outsized role in my life and was as warm and loving and generous off the camera as he was on the camera.

Willard, you didn't make it to the front of the Smucker's jar but you changed so many lives for the better," she concluded.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief, also posted his tribute. "My longtime friend in the DC bureau, a ray of sunshine no matter what the weather or how grim the news. Beloved by fans and colleagues alike."

We send heartfelt condolences to Scott's loved ones during this difficult time.

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