Dave Schwartz, the 63-year-old meteorologist for The Weather Channel for over 20 years, died Saturday, July 30, after his third round with pancreatic cancer.
Friends and fellow co-workers of Schwartz mourn his passing. The network posted the devastating announcement on Facebook.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to let you know that Dave Schwartz has passed away. Dave spent 22 years at The Weather Channel. He was a fan and staff favorite because he so obviously loved what he did and had a unique ability to draw viewers into the fascinating world of weather. His passion for weather was contagious and inspired many to enter the field of meteorology. His passion and love of weather will never be forgotten, he will be greatly missed.”
Weather Channel meteorologist Dave Schwartz dies from cancer after beating it twice: https://t.co/Xiilb89jYa
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) July 31, 2016
On the network’s official site, it states the day Schwartz died, as well as makes mention of his first two battles with the cancer that took his life. His first diagnosis was about 10 years ago, but chemo and radiation helped him beat it each time.
“The meteorologist continued with radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and after a second surgical procedure, was pronounced cancer free. Less than a year later, a routine check-up showed that his cancer had returned.
According to The Weather Channel, Schwartz said he knew he wanted to report the weather his entire life.
“I’ve always been a weather ‘geek’. Skywatching, and watching The Weather Channel. I built a weather forecasting kit from Radio Shack my father bought me.”
He graduated from both Mississippi State and Temple universities, but his love of his viewers, love of laughter and casual demeanor made Schwartz a household name.
Schwartz openly discussed his cancer in a public announcement on ‘World Cancer Day’ in February.
“I want to let you know the reason why I have lost 35 pounds in the last 5 months is that I am being treated for cancer … Stomach cancer, of all things, for a foodie.”
— Nick Szankovics (@weather_talk) July 30, 2016
According to People magazine, Schwartz spoke more about his cancer in hope of giving others who received negative prognoses the courage to explore other options and treatment centers, as opposed to just giving up.
Jim Cantore spoke fondly of his co-worker and friend.
“Everything was genuine about this wonderful man. He was everybody’s friend and that’s what he really wanted to be. He made so many of us laugh, smile, and wish we were like him. He was so genuine and trustworthy — things that come from the soul and cannot be taught. Dave loved doing the weather on TV and he was fantastic at it. I’m so thankful he was on our team doing what he loved till the end of his time.”
Bailey Rogers, colleague to Schwartz, wrote a touching salute to the meteorologist.
“Whereas many people would probably take time off, Dave prefers working at his dream job. His rich history with The Weather Channel began in 1985 when he worked as a gofer in the newsroom. He landed the job after making a spectacle of himself by offering to clean the bathrooms for free! Dave wanted to learn from the best – no matter the cost. Lucky for him, it didn’t come to that. He worked at the network on Saturdays while working at the Fulton County Health Department Monday through Friday. On his lone day off, Dave would come into the unoccupied studio and practice delivering forecasts in front of the camera. He eventually made it into the on-camera apprentice program, where he would be on-air from 2-3 a.m. once a week alongside an experienced on-camera meteorologist. When an on-camera position would open up, Dave would apply. After many failed attempts, in 1991 his persistence paid off – with the help of an application letter entitled, ’10 reasons why Dave Schwartz should be the next on-camera meteorologist for The Weather Channel.'”
The family has not released information on the funeral. They wish to keep the service for Schwartz private.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]