Dave Schwartz, the longtime anchor of The Weather Channel who spoke about his battle with stomach cancer on air to mark World Cancer Day last February, died Saturday of the disease at age 63. The Weather Channel confirmed his passing on its Facebook page.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness to let you know that Dave Schwartz has passed away,” the Channel wrote. “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.”
Schwartz’s latest battle with cancer, diagnosed last year, was his third. According to The Weather Channel, Schwartz first noticed a yellow tint to his skin and eyes ten years ago “while applying his on-camera makeup.” He was diagnosed with Stage II pancreatic cancer. and given a year to live following an unsuccessful procedure to remove the tumor.
“The meteorologist continued with radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and after a second surgical procedure, was pronounced cancer free,” says TWC. “Less than a year later, a routine check-up showed that his cancer had returned. Yet again, Schwartz found a treatment option that worked for him. He beat cancer twice.”
Last February, the weather anchor told viewers of his diagnosis. “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,” he said. “Stomach cancer, of all things, for a foodie.”
A Philadelphia native and graduate of Temple and Mississippi State universities, Schwartz was an on-air TWC meteorologist for more than 20 years.
Jim Cantore, Schwartz’s friend and colleague, said, “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.”
On his TWC bio, Schwartz wrote, “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. The tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz really turned me on.”
The family is planning a private memorial service.