Jerry Taft Cause Of Death: A Legacy of Laughter and Weather

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Written By Drew Gomez






Jerry Taft was a beloved figure in the world of meteorology, known for his warm personality and his ability to bring laughter to his viewers. His career spanned over four decades, during which he became a staple in many Chicago households.

Jerry Taft, the beloved Chicago weatherman who helmed ABC7 Chicago’s meteorology department for 33 years, passed away on Thursday night at the age of 77. Let’s delve into the details of his remarkable career and the circumstances surrounding his passing:

Early Life and Career

  • Jerry Taft was an American meteorologist who served as the chief meteorologist for WLS-TV in Chicago.
  • He worked for 34 years with WLS and spent a total of 42 years as a broadcast meteorologist in the Chicago media market.
  • Taft’s interest in meteorology was sparked during his time as a military pilot when he flew with San Antonio weatherman Maclovio Perez of NBC affiliate KMOL-TV.
  • He joined WLS-TV (ABC 7) in August 1984 and became one of Chicago’s favorite weathermen, known for his no-nonsense delivery and sense of humor.

Retirement and Legacy

  • On January 19, 2018, Jerry Taft retired after forecasting weather on Chicago television for 42 years.
  • His last day on air was marked by colleagues praising his approachability, professionalism, and infectious laughter.
  • Taft’s genuine soul and commitment to keeping viewers informed during severe weather made him an expert in the field.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described him as a class act with a passion for meteorology and love for the city.

Cause of Death

  • No immediate cause of Jerry Taft’s demise was reported, but he had been suffering from congestive heart failure for several years.
  • He passed away peacefully in his house in Chicago surrounded by family members.
  • Jerry is survived by his wife Shana and their children: Skylar, Storm, Danna, and Jay.

Jerry Taft’s laughter, dedication, and sunny disposition continue to resonate with those who remember him. His legacy lives on in the hearts of Chicagoans and weather enthusiasts alike. 🌤️🌧️⛅

Jerry Taft passed away peacefully at the age of 77, surrounded by family. While no immediate cause of death was reported, it was known that he had suffered from congestive heart failure for several years.


After retiring in January 2018, Taft enjoyed his time golfing and spending winters in Naples, Florida. He also dabbled in crockpot cooking and even worked as an Uber driver.


Jerry Taft was born on March 14, 1943, and passed away on July 23, 2020, making him 77 years old at the time of his death.


Taft’s educational journey took him from Georgia Tech to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology.


Before his career in meteorology, Taft served as a radar technician in the United States Air Force and fought in the Vietnam War. His interest in weather began during his military service.


Taft’s career was marked by his induction into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and his recognition as a favorite weatherman by the Chicago Tribune.


One of Taft’s significant life challenges was his service during the Vietnam War, which profoundly impacted his life and career.

Social Media Activity

Even after retirement, Taft remained active on social media, engaging with his audience and sharing updates about his life.


Jerry Taft is survived by his wife, Shana, and his children Skylar, Storm, Dana, and Jay. He was a family man who cherished the time spent with his loved ones.

Social Life

In his post-retirement life, Taft enjoyed a relaxed lifestyle, engaging in hobbies and spending time with his family and friends.


Jerry Taft’s life was rich and full, marked by professional success, personal hobbies, and a loving family. His legacy continues to inspire those who knew him and those who followed his career. He will be remembered not only for his contributions to meteorology but also for the joy and laughter he brought to so many.

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