Ginger Zee

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Ginger Zee
Ginger Zee (cropped).jpg
Zee in 2015
Born Ginger Renee Zuidgeest
(1981-01-13) January 13, 1981 (age 35)
Orange, California, U.S.
Other names Ginger Colonomos
Education Valparaiso University
Alma mater Valparaiso University (B.S.)
Years active 2004–present
Known for Broadcast meteorologist
Spouse(s) Ben Aaron (m. 2014)
Children 1
Parent(s) Robert O. "Bob" Zuidgeest (father)
Dawn E. Zuidgeest-Craft (Mother)

Ginger Renee Colonomos (née Zuidgeest; born January 13, 1981), known by her pseudonym Ginger Zee, is an American television personality. She is the current Meteorologist for Good Morning America and ABC World News Tonight on ABC, and before that, she was their weekend Meteorologist. Zee is the Chief Meteorologist for all of ABC News' platforms.[1]

Background and education[edit]

Zee was born Ginger Renee Zuidgeest on January 13, 1981 in Orange, California to mother Dawn E. Zuidgeest-Craft (née Hemleb) and father Robert O. "Bob" Zuidgeest.[2][3][4] She has two younger brothers named Sean Jeffrey Zuidgeest and Walter "Wally" Zuidgeest. Zee was named after "Ginger" from Gilligan's Island by her Dutch father, due to his love of the show that helped him learn English.[5]

In her extended family, Zee has a stepfather named Carl John Craft, and two half-sisters, Adrianna and Elaina Craft.[6][7] Zee's paternal grandparents are Adriaan Cornelis "Adrian" or "Arie" Zuidgeest and Hillegonda "Hilda" Zuidgeest (née VanderShoor), who both immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands.[4] Zee's maternal grandfather is George Joseph Hemleb and grandmother Paula Adeline Wesner.[6]

Zee once said that she chose to be a Meteorologist because "I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight... I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen."[8] In 1999, Zee graduated from Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. After that, Zee went on to Valparaiso University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology as well as a major in both mathematics and Spanish. Her goal at graduation was to be a Meteorologist on The Today Show by age 30.[9]


Lara Spencer (left) and Zee at the 2014 Pre-White House Correspondents' Dinner Reception Pre-Party

After graduating from college, Zee worked for various media outlets such as WEYI-TV in Flint, Michigan, WYIN-TV in Merrillville, Indiana, WLAV-FM and WOOD-TV both in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois, an NBC owned and operated station.[10] While working at WMAQ from 2006-2011, Zee was asked once to fill in as a guest meteorologist on the weekend edition of The Today Show, and this fulfilled her high school goal.[1][11] In addition, Zee is an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.[12]

Zee reached national prominence when she joined Good Morning America Weekend on November 12, 2011.[1][13] Zee occasionally appears on other ABC programming such as Nightline and ABC World News Tonight.

On December 2, 2013, ABC News announced that Zee would become Chief Meteorologist for Good Morning America and weather editor for ABC News, succeeding Sam Champion, who took a job with The Weather Channel.[14]

On March 4, 2016, Zee was announced as a celebrity competitor on the 22nd season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy.[15] The couple reached the finals of the show and ended in third place.

Personal life[edit]

At age 21 Zee was diagnosed with Narcolepsy.[8] In August 2013, Zee became engaged to WNBC personality Benjamin Aaron Colonomos, who goes by Ben Aaron.[16] The couple wed in Petoskey, Michigan on June 7, 2014.[16][17] On June 29, 2015, Ginger announced on Good Morning America that she and Ben were expecting their first child in December.[18] On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, Good Morning America had a gender reveal segment for pregnant couples. Ginger and her husband found out they were expecting a boy.[19] They welcomed a son, Adrian Benjamin, on December 19, 2015.


  1. ^ a b c "Ginger Zee's Biography". ABC News (2011-11-04). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  2. ^ Feder, Robert (November 7, 2011). "For Ginger Zee at ABC, 'absolute dream' comes true". Time Out. Time Out Group Limited. ISSN 1711-7976. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ California Birth Index. "Ginger Renee Zuidgeest". California Birth Index. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Love Story Net (August 22, 2008). "Hilda (Zuidgeest) VanderShoor - Grand Rapids, MI : August 22nd 2008". LifeStoryNet, LLC. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Borrelli, Christopher. "The stormy rise of Ginger Zee". Chicago Tribune (2010-06-30). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  6. ^ a b Grand Rapids Press (December 18, 2011). "George Hemleb Obituary". Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ Pierson, Coleen (November 12, 2011). "Rockford's Ginger Zee makes her debut on 'Good Morning America'". Booth Newspapers. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Ginger Zee". Retrieved 8 August 2015. I chose this career because I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight. My mom told us to get inside, but I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. 
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame class of 2012 inductees announced". The Rockford Squire/Squire News (2012-07-05). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Ginger Zee makes Today Show debut". WOOD TV (2010-02-27). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Ginger Zee starts new job at America". WOOD TV (2011-11-12). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2013-12-02). "Sam Champion Leaves 'Good Morning America' For Weather Channel, Ginger Zee To Replace Him". Deadline. PMC. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  15. ^ "Ginger Zee to Join 'Dancing With the Stars,' Partnered With Val Chmerkovskiy". ABC News. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Stemer Rood, Zak (May 30, 2014). "Ginger Zee: Taken by storm". Chicago Splash. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ Corriston, Michele (2014-06-08). "Ginger Zee Shares Beachy Wedding Portraits". People Magazine. Retrieved 2014-06-08. 
  18. ^ "ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee Expecting 1st Child". 2015-06-29. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Christina Butan and Anya Leon (2015-07-21). "Ginger Zee Expecting Son: Watch the Reveal". Retrieved 8 August 2015. 

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