Willard Herman Scott Jr, GW ‘51
Born on March 7, 1934
lives in Delaplane, Virginia
WILLARD SCOTT -- Weather reporter, NBC News' "Today"
The ebullient Willard Scott has made mornings much brighter for millions of "Today" viewers since he first appeared on the program in March 1980, reporting on the weather. He joined "Today" after having performed similar duties, beginning in 1968, at WRC-TV, the NBC Television Station in Washington, D.C.
Scott is a great advocate of honoring centenarians. He wishes happy birthday to over-100-year-olds each Tuesday and Thursday mornings on "Today." In addition, he substitutes for Al Roker as weather reporter.
Scott has traveled with "Today" to China, Australia, South America and Hawaii, and to Rome during Holy Week. He also traveled with "Today" on a cruise along the U.S. eastern seaboard, throughout Europe aboard the Orient Express, and through the heartland of America on the "Today Express."
Scott has anchored coverage of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1987, and he traditionally appears as Santa Claus at several White House events for children. For more than 30 years, he has lighted the national Christmas tree in Washington, D.C.
Scott has made numerous appearances throughout the country, including at Carnegie Hall in 1989 with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops; Symphony Hall in 1989, when he narrated "The Night Before Christmas" accompanied by the Boston Symphony; the Palace Theatre with George Abbott; and the Grand Ole Opry. In addition, Scott hosted the Family Channel's "The New Original Amateur Hour" in 1991. He was also the first Ronald McDonald.
He began his career with NBC as a page at the Washington station in 1950. At that time he was also a weekend disk jockey for Washington radio station WINX. He joined WOL Radio that same year and, with Ed Walker, formed The Joy Boys broadcast team, moving in 1953 to WRC-AM, the NBC Radio Station in Washington, D.C., and remaining there until 1972. They broadcast from WWDC, Washington, from 1972 to 1974. His weather reports were broadcast on WRC-AM from 1956 until 1972.
Scott has distinguished himself with his public-service efforts. He has been named both Distinguished Virginian by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters (1990) and Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine (1979). He also received the Great American Award from the Bards of Bohemia in New Orleans (1990) and was named Humanitarian in Residence by the National Society of Fund Raisers (1985). In 1985 he was recognized by President Ronald Reagan with the Private Sector Award for Public Service.
The author of four books, Scott is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in philosophy and religion. He is married to the former Mary Dwyer, and they are the parents of two daughters, Mary and Sally. Scott was born March 7, 1934, in Alexandria, VA.
Q. Who was the orginal Ronald?
A. Famed weatherman Willard Scott. In the very first Ronald McDonald
commercial, with Willard Scott as Ronald(c.1960), he actually says something to
the effect of "I know you're not supposed to talk to strangers, kids, but it's
okay to talk to me, because I'm Ronald the hamburger-loving clown!"
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