Retired meteorologist who served as chief meteorologist for WLS-TV in Chicago, Jerry Taft has passed away. Jerry was reported to have died today July 24 2020 at the age of 77.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Taft earned a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He worked at ABC7 for 33 years before retiring in January 2018. His cause of death is not yet known as at the time of filing this report.
Jerry is survived by his wife Shana, their children Skylar and Storm and his other children Danna and Jay.
He was a captain in the Air Force, in Texas when he took the local weatherman in San Antonio up for a publicity flight for the military. Then, that weatherman turned the tables and put Jerry on the air.
The Chicago Tribune has described Taft as “one of [their] favorite weathermen”.
He finished second to WBBM-TV’s Steve Baskerville and ahead of Tom Skilling in a 1997 Chicago Sun-Times reader poll about Chicago meteorologists. Participants noted Taft’s “no-nonsense delivery”.
On December 20, 2017, ABC 7 Chicago announced that Taft would retire in January, 2018. Taft’s last day on air, after forecasting weather on Chicago television for 42 years, was Friday, January 19, 2018.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Taft moved to Naples, Florida after his retirement with ABC 7 Chicago and now works as a part-time Uber driver. He earned $84.61 on his very first day.