Gil Whitney

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Gil Whitney
Gil Whitney WHIO Promo Photo (c1980).jpg
WHIO Promotional Photo of Gil Whitney (circa 1980)
Born August 18, 1940[1]
Augusta, Maine, U.S.
Died November 4, 1982(1982-11-04) (aged 42)
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Television Personality
Weather Reporter (also fill-in news/sports anchor)
Talk Show emcee
Known for Timely weather warning during 1974 Super Outbreak
co-founder of Dayton Air Show
Spouse(s) Mary
Children Gil, Jr., John, Jennifer

Gil Whitney was an American television personality in Dayton, Ohio, who worked primarily at WHIO Television and Radio until his death in 1982. He was posthumously inducted into the Dayton Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2005.

Career[edit]

Whitney's career at WHIO was multi-faceted, having worked as an occasional fill-in anchor, but also as a sportscaster and field journalist, usually covering stories of human interest. By the early 1970s he was permanently assigned as a weather specialist. His sense of humor and folksy everyman approach to weather reporting made him a favorite with viewers.

1976 TV Guide ad for Newscenter 7 with Gil Whitney

As a weatherman, Whitney is best remembered for his timely warning on April 3, 1974 of an F5 tornado that went through Xenia, Ohio during the 1974 Super Outbreak. He specifically identified the Xenia neighborhood of Arrowhead as being directly in the tornado's path; his report proved to be correct as Arrowhead was leveled by the twister.[2]

During the fall seasons, Whitney often referred to the unusually accurate Wooly Worm to predict the severity of an upcoming winter season. His frequent reference to Wooly Worms led to the creation of a kids' fan club with the Wooly Worm as its mascot.[3]

Other work[edit]

During the summer months Whitney also hosted Summertime '7x (the number in the title changed each year), a weekly late-night talk show which featured local talent and other TV, movie and radio personalities making guest appearances. By 1980, the show was renamed The Gil Whitney Show. After his death the show was again renamed Summer Nights and ran five more years.

He was a regular on the community parade circuit, acted as emcee for numerous public events, volunteered as a firefighter, and most notably was one of the founders of the Dayton Air Show.[4]

Personal life and death[edit]

Whitney and his wife Mary had three children together:

  • Gil Whitney Jr (b. 1963), a filmmaker now living in Columbus, Ohio[5]
  • John, a filmmaker (b. 1964)
  • Jennifer (b. 1967)

Whitney died November 4, 1982, at the age of 42, of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Awards[edit]

  • 2005: Dayton, Ohio Broadcasters Hall Of Fame inductee[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birth date from SSDI. Gilman Whitney.
  2. ^ Simpson, Jamie (2004-03-31). "Radar provides life-saving warnings of tornadoes. It should be stated that Whitney was responsible for saving hundreds of lives by giving an early warning to the residents of Xenia.". Dayton Daily News. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Kimberly (2009-09-02). "Wooly Worms And Winter Weather Prediction". WHIOTV.com. 
  4. ^ Huffman, Dale (1993-08-15). "Whitney brothers' forecast sunny". Dayton Daily News. p. 1B. 
  5. ^ Gil Whitney, Jr. Video Production Company
  6. ^ "2005 Hall Of Fame Inductees". Dayton, Ohio Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]