John Coleman, 83, meteorologist who helped launch Weather Channel

Marty Lederhandler/associated Press/file

Mr. Coleman (right) and Frank Batten, chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, at a press conference in New York in 1981.

By the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — John Coleman, who cofounded The Weather Channel and was the original meteorologist on ABC’s ‘‘Good Morning America’’ during a six-decade broadcasting career but who later drew people’s anger for his open distrust of climate change, died Saturday . He was 83.

Mr. Coleman died at home in Las Vegas, said his wife, Linda Coleman, who did not give the cause of his death.


The Texas native got his first TV job while still a student at the University of Illinois. He worked at several local stations in Chicago and the Midwest before joining ‘‘GMA’’ when it launched in 1975, staying with the program for seven years.

He served as CEO of The Weather Channel for about a year after helping launch it in 1981.

Two years later the American Meteorological Society named Mr. Coleman its broadcast meteorologist of the year.

Mr. Coleman went to work at TV stations in New York and in Chicago before landing at KUSI-TV in San Diego, where he spent 20 years as a weatherman before retiring in 2014.

National Weather Service forecaster Alex Tardy said Mr. Coleman’s death was ‘‘a big loss for the weather community.’’


‘‘He brought a lot of energy and color and enthusiasm to forecasting,’’ Tardy said.

Mr. Coleman also drew anger during the later years of his career for his views on global warming, which he called a ‘‘hoax’’ and a ‘‘scam.’’ In a 2013 KUSI news segment, Mr. Coleman, while talking about a global warming study, chastised national media for reporting on it from ‘‘an environmental point of view and their continuing liberal, political agenda.’’

His views combined with his weatherman background led to appearances on cable news outlets, where he voiced his doubts about climate change.

Tardy said Mr. Coleman never tried to push his skepticism about climate change being man-made. ‘‘We had good talks,’’ Tardy told the San Diego Union-Tribune. ‘‘I enjoyed it.’’