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Jerry Traft
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Jerry Taft, a meteorologist at ABC7 Chicago for 33 years, dies at 77

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Jerry Taft, who worked as a meteorologist at ABC7 Chicago for 33 years before retiring in January 2018, passed on peacefully Thursday night surrounded by relatives. He was 77 years of age.

While thinking about his career when he retired from ABC7, Jerry said he didn’t expect to become a TV meteorologist and got interested in meteorology from flying airplanes.

Jerry Taft 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. At that point, that meteorologist reversed the tables and put Jerry broadcasting live.

“They said we’ll give you fourteen-fifty. I figured $1,450 a month, bought new suits. It was $14.50 a show. Got my first check, it was $62,” he said.

Jerry Taft was notable for his sense of humor and his strength to laugh at mistakes.

“One of the things that makes him so approachable is the fact that he doesn’t take himself seriously, he’s taking what he does professionally seriously, never himself,” said Alan Krashesky when Jerry retired.

“People remember the laugh, I don’t know how many newscasts there have been where he gets the giggles,” said Kathy Brock when Jerry retired.

Jerry Taft came to Chicago to work for NBC and moved over to ABC7 in 1984.

We stretch out our sympathies to the Taft family.

His colleagues and other broadcast columnists in Chicago posted tributes via social media.

“I had the privilege of working alongside him for more than 20 years,” FOX 32 meteorologist Mike Caplan said in a Facebook post-Friday morning. “His infectious laugh and frequent giggles on air were legendary and endeared him to his audience and friends.”

ABC 7 columnist Roz Varon said in a Facebook post that she would likewise recollect his “contagious laugh.”

“We’re sharing special memories this morning about this larger than life personality who had the largest heart,” Varon said in a post.

Jerry Taft is survived by his wife, Shana, and children Skylar, Storm, Danna, and Jay.

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