Willard Scott, former NBC weatherman of 'TODAY,' dies at 87

Willard Scott, the former weatherman of NBC’s "Today" show, died at 87, according to the show with attribution to current weatherman Al Roker.

"We lost Willard Scott passed peacefully at 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris," Roker tweeted Saturday. "He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was truly a broadcast #icon."

According to the network, Scott joined the morning news program in 1980. He was also best known for wishing happy birthdays to viewers turning 100 years old. 

Network officials said Scott has been with NBC for 65 years, starting as a page at the network’s locally owned-and-operated station, WRC, in Washington, D.C. in 1950.

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''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.'

Scott was born in March 1934 and graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. In 1955, he started hosting the "Joy Boys" radio show on WRC until it ended in 1974. He went on to hosts children’s TV shows. 

He remained a local fixture in the Washington, D.C. market as the weatherman for WRC until the network moved him to the "Today" show. He semi-retired in 1996 making room for Roker to join the program. Scott fully retired from the show in 2015.

According to NBC, Scott was married to wife Mary Dwyer Scott from 1959 until she died in 2002. They had two children. He is survived by wife Paris Keena, whom he married in 2014.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.