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Willard Scott

From Academic Kids

Willard Herman Scott, Jr. (born March 7, 1934) is an American media personality, best known for his work on NBC's Today show.

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, Scott attended American University in Washington, D.C., where he met Ed Walker. The two hosted a program on the university radio station WAMU-AM for two years, before moving to WRC-AM in 1953. Their program, The Joy Boys, remained on-air until 1972.

Scott spent the 1960s balancing his radio career alongside numerous jobs as hosts of children's television programs. He appeared on local television playing characters such as Commander Retro and Bozo the Clown. Another role he played during this time was that of Ronald McDonald, who was hired to portray for a McDonald's franchise in Washington, D.C.. Scott played Ronald in the first three television ads featuring the character.

In 1970, Scott moved from radio to television, appearing on WRC-TV as a weekday weatherman. He remained there until 1980, when he was tapped by NBC to become its weatherman for The Today Show. After being inspired by a viewer request, Scott began his practice of wishing centenarians a happy birthday in 1983, which he continues to do on a weekly basis.

In 1989 Today show cohost Bryant Gumbel wrote a internal memo critical of the show's crew. The memo was leaked to the media. Gumbel said Scott "holds the show hostage to his assortment of whims, wishes, birthdays and bad taste...This guy is killing us and no one's even trying to rein him in." This garnered enough of a backlash that Gumbel was shown making up with Scott on the Today show.

Scott is also an author, having published several fiction and non-fiction books based on his experiences, and a professional speaker.

He continues to serve as a weatherman for the Today show as a substitute for Al Roker.

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