Dick Goddard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dick Goddard
Dick Goddard at Humane Society Event.jpg
Born (1931-02-24) February 24, 1931 (age 88)[1]
Occupationformer television news weatherman, meteorologist, author

Richard D. "Dick" Goddard (born February 24, 1931) is a former American television meteorologist, author, cartoonist, and animal activist. For over five decades, he served as the evening meteorologist at WJW-TV, the Fox Broadcasting Company-affiliated television station in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds the Guinness World Record for longest career as a weather forecaster.[2]


After graduating from Green High School[3] in what is now Green, Ohio, in 1949,[4] Goddard began his weather career while taking classes on meteorology during a stint with the United States Air Force from 1949 through the early 1950s.[1] During this time, Goddard's most notable assignment was forecasting for atmospheric nuclear weapons tests by the United States Atomic Energy Commission in the Pacific.[1]

He then attended Kent State University, where he majored in drama and broadcasting. While there he had notable success as the lead character, Curly, in the school's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!

After graduating from Kent State in 1960,[5] he joined the weather team at Westinghouse Broadcasting-owned KYW-TV (now WKYC-TV) in Cleveland a year later; while at KYW-TV, Goddard worked alongside sports anchor Jim Graner.[6] Goddard was one of several employees of KYW-TV who agreed to move to WRCV-TV in Philadelphia in June 1965, after Westinghouse was allowed by the FCC to reverse a station trade with NBC in 1956 based on coercion in order for Westinghouse to retain their NBC affiliations; the KYW calls also moved back to Philadelphia. However, Goddard did not take a liking to Philadelphia, and returned to Cleveland several months later. In 1966, Goddard became the chief meteorologist at WJW-TV, where he would work for the remainder of his career.[1]

After returning to Cleveland, Goddard also was employed with the NFL's Cleveland Browns as the team's official statistician for home games. Then a CBS affiliate, WJW carried Browns games at the time as part of their NFL play-by-play contract until the 1970 AFL-NFL merger (due to the Browns move to the AFC), at which point the games moved to WKYC – this was a key factor in his having joined the station. He held this position from 1966 to 2011, with the exception of a three-year period from 1996–1999 when the franchise was suspended as the old Browns franchise moved to Baltimore and Cleveland was given a new team.[7]

From August 1977 to January 1979, Goddard also hosted WJW's version of Bowling for Dollars, a syndicated franchised game show. He has also appeared in numerous skits on WJW's popular Big Chuck and Lil' John Show over the years, and does occasional stage work.[8]

In honor of Goddard's 50 years on Cleveland TV, most of which was spent at WJW, the portion of South Marginal Road (the southern frontage road of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) in front of the WJW studios was renamed "Dick Goddard Way" on May 23, 2011.[9]

As of 2014 Goddard resided in Medina Township, Ohio.[10]

In December 2014, at age 83, Goddard signed a "multi-year" contract renewal with WJW.[11] On May 18, 2016, Goddard announced that he would retire from his weather duties in November 2016, while continuing his animal advocacy and remaining host of the Woollybear Festival.[12][13] He delivered his last forecast on the station on November 22, 2016, with the station's weather center renamed for him. He will continue to tape animal advocacy and adoption segments for WJW.[14]

The Woollybear Festival[edit]

In 1973 Goddard created the first Woollybear Festival, a day-long family event dedicated to teaching children about the weather, family fun, and animals. Some of the events include a caterpillar race, animal costume contests, and musical performances.


Goddard has been an outspoken opponent of animal abuse.[15] "Dick Goddard's Law", a bill to increase the severity of penalties for abuse, was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly in 2013[16][17] and reintroduced in 2015.[18] The 2015 version was signed into law on June 13, 2016.[19]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval (#45)[20]
  • 2011 Gold Circle Award, presented by Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards chapter[21]
  • 1992 Silver Circle Award, presented by Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards chapter[21]
  • Cleveland Press Club Journalism Hall of Fame Inductee (class of 2001)[22]
  • Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductee (class of 1989)[23]
  • Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductee (class of 1994)[24]
  • South Marginal Road in Cleveland renamed "Dick Goddard Way"[9]
  • Ohio GA 131 House Bill 60 named "Dick Goddard's Law"
  • Guinness Book of World Records - Longest career as a weather forecaster (51 years, 6 days)[2]
  • Fox 8 News weather desk renamed the "Dick Goddard Weather Center"[25]
  • Annual event established by Goddard renamed the "Dick Goddard Woollybear Festival"[26]


  • Goddard, Dick (2011). Six Inches of Partly Cloudy: Cleveland's Legendary TV Meteorologist Takes on Everything–and More. Cleveland: Gray & Co. ISBN 978-1-59851-066-9.
  • Goddard, Dick (2005). Dick Goddard's Almanac for Northeast Ohio. Cleveland: Gray & Co. ISBN 1-886228-92-2. (Also published 2002–2004)
  • Goddard, Dick (1998). Dick Goddard's Weather Guide for Northeast Ohio. Cleveland: Gray & Co. ISBN 1-886228-12-4.


  1. ^ a b c d Dawidziak, Mark (2011-02-23). "WJW Channel 8 weatherman Dick Goddard turns 80 Feb. 24, celebrates 50 years on TV in May". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  2. ^ a b Longest career as a weather forecaster - Guinness World Records
  3. ^ Dick Goddard. Fox8.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  4. ^ WJW-TV, "Fox 8 News at 10" broadcast, 2009-08-12 (personal mention of 60th Reunion).
  5. ^ Katona, Ashley (Winter 2011). "Dick Goddard, '60". Kent State Magazine. 10 (1): 28. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11.
  6. ^ "History of WKYC-TV 1948-2010" (PDF). WKYC.com. WKYC-TV, Inc. 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 1961: ... The news team consisted of anchors Carl Stern and Bud Dancy, weathercaster Dick Goddard and sports talent Jim Graner.
  7. ^ "Dick Goddard retires...from Browns broadcast booth". WTAM-AM. 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  8. ^ WJKW-TV8 - Cleveland - "Bowling for Dollars" Promo - 1978 - AOL Video
  9. ^ a b Buckingham, Lindsay (2011-05-23). "S. Marginal Road Dedicated to FOX 8's Own Dick Goddard". WJW-TV. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  10. ^ Knox, David (2014-05-13). "Dick Goddard rescued while second man climbs tree to avoid waters". The Medina Gazette. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  11. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (2014-12-09). "Dick Goddard signs new multi-year deal with Channel 8". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2014-12-10. Although Channel 8 would not disclose specific terms of the new contract, the station did confirm it was a multi-year deal.
  12. ^ Cunningham, Kaily (2016-05-18). "Dick Goddard announces retirement: 'In November, I'm stepping away from the weather maps'". WJW-TV.
  13. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (2016-05-18). "Channel 8's Dick Goddard ending 55-year run as weatherman in November". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  14. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (22 November 2016). "Dick Goddard says tearful goodbye to 55-year career as a Cleveland weather forecaster". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  15. ^ Zinni, Mark (2013-04-01). "Activists Announce 'Goddard's Law' to Protect Animals". WJW-TV. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  16. ^ Zinni, Mark (2013-09-30). "'Goddard's Law' Gets More Support to Crack Down on Animal Abuse". WJW-TV. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  17. ^ H.B. No. 274, Ohio 130th General Assembly
  18. ^ "H.B. No. 60, Ohio 131st General Assembly". Section 3. This act shall be known as Dick Goddard's Law.
  19. ^ "Kasich Signs Eight Bills" (Press release). Governor of Ohio, John R. Kasich. 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  20. ^ "AMS List of TV Seal Holders". Ametsoc.org. 2013-12-29. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  21. ^ a b "NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter". Nataslgl.org. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  22. ^ "The Press Club of Cleveland". Pressclubcleveland.com. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  23. ^ "Broadcasters Hall of Fame". Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  24. ^ http://www.cabcleveland.com/CAb_Cleveland/Hall_of_Fame.html
  25. ^ Dick Goddard Weather Center - Fox 8.com (WJW-TV)
  26. ^ 2017 Dick Goddard Wooleybear Festival ad

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]