Willard got his start in broadcasting at only 16 years old, while still attending George Washington High School. He started to work at an NBC page at WRC-AM, NBC's owned-and-operated radio station in Washington, D.C. There he continued his education at the American University, and worked with fellow student Ed Walker at WAMU-AM, the university's radio station from 1951 to 1953. After graduation, he firmly established himself as a host, working on numerous notable shows, like being the weatherman for The Today Show, writing and co-hosting the popular 60's radio show Joy Boys. Among his many credits, Willard Scott is also the creator and original portrayer of Ronald McDonald, from 1963 to 1966, and occasionally as late as 1971. He has written or co-written eight books, including his autobiographical book "The Joy of Living". In December of 2015, following a six-decade career in broadcasting, Willard Scott announced his retirement from TV. His Today co-hosts held a tribute to his career on his last day, showing clips of his work and farewells from his NBC cohorts Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and Katie Couric, plus Barbara Bush and Gene Shalit.
Willard Scott is a classic story in American media, a young upstart who through hard work and determination became an American Icon. While many may not know the man behind the makeup of Ronal McDonald, all recognized his friendly demeanor on the Today Show, telling millions across the country what weather they have to look forward to.