Frank Field, who as a meteorologist achieved unprecedented recognition in his job as a television weather forecaster in New York, and also had a long career presenting network programs on science and medicine, died Saturday in Florida. Went. He was 100 years old.
His death was announced by WNBC-TV in New York, where Dr. Field began his broadcasting career in 1958.
Dr. Field, a presence in New York and on network television for more than 40 years, was not the city’s first popular TV prophet. But he differed from his predecessors in one important respect.
Most notable of those predecessors (who also became his rivals) were Tex Antoine and Carol Reed. Mr. Antoine featured a mustachioed Uncle Weatherby on his weather maps for NBC and later, ABC stations in New York, changing the character’s facial expression and meteorological attire depending on the forecast. Ms. Reed signed off her nightly report on WCBS-TV by saying “Cheer up”. Both enjoyed a long run on television. But neither of them had expertise in meteorology.
Dr. Field told The New Yorker for a 1966 profile, “Weather forecasting used to be in a class with reporting real estate transactions for the newspaper.” “The network thought it should be full of pretty girls and other gimmicks.”
Bespectacled and “with a very professional manner”, as he was described in the magazine profile, Dr. Fields made up for his lack of flash.
Although he did not have a college degree in meteorology—his doctorate was in optometry, a profession he briefly pursued before beginning his career in television—Dr. Field was a weather forecaster in the military, a qualification that which earned him recognition as a meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society. He was the recipient of the Society’s Seal of Approval, which recognizes on-air forecasters who provide “sound delivery of weather information to the general public”.
He used his technical knowledge to interpret data from weather satellites launched in the emerging space age and to explain the details of illustrated weather systems displayed on television.
He also established himself as a science reporter, covering much more than just the weather.
Dr. Field narrated a live broadcast of cardiac surgery and organ transplant. He was a supporter of fire-protection programs, in his book “Dr.” describes the best practices for building fire prevention. Frank Field’s Get Out Alive” (1992) and in an educational DVD for children and their parents, “there is fire …” (2006). He also hosted the programs “Medical Update” and “Health Field”.
Perhaps most famously, he publicized the Heimlich maneuver, which was developed in the 1970s by Dr. Henry J. The lifesaving procedure developed by Heimlich consisted of a bear hug and abdominal thrusts to clear out food stuck in the throat. Dr. Fields brought Dr. Heimlich into his studio for a demonstration.
Dr. Field received a citation at the New York Emmy Awards in 1975 for “reporting of developments in applied science”. He was a Fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he studied the relationship between weather and health.
Franklin Field was born on March 30, 1923, in Queens, the son of immigrants from Ukraine. His father was a factory worker.
He was studying geology at Brooklyn College and playing center on the school’s football team—the quarterback was Eli Sherman, who later became head coach of the New York Giants—when he enlisted and was commissioned in the Army Air Forces in World War II. Received. as a lieutenant.
After the army trained him as a meteorologist, he flew over German-occupied France to analyze weather patterns that would affect American bombing. Later he lectured on meteorology at the airports of the states.
After the war he did not return to Brooklyn College, instead continuing his work in meteorology. He joined the staff of the United States Weather Bureau in Manhattan and headed companies that provided weather data to newspapers and private clients.
But when his wife, Joan, was expecting their first child, he sought a professional career that could provide more financial stability. He studied optometric engineering at Columbia University, earned his doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Optometry, and briefly worked as an optometrist in the early 1950s.
“If someone shouts ‘Is there a doctor in the house?’ And I replied, ‘All I could do for the patient was nervously recommend a change of glasses,'” he told The New Yorker.
In addition to his nightly weather forecasts, Dr. Field analyzed space missions on network telecasts, describing weather conditions the astronauts might encounter upon landing at sea.
Dr. Field left NBC in 1984 and moved to CBS, where he worked for 11 years. He later worked at two local New York television stations, WNYW and WWOR. He retired in 2004.
Dr. Field was also the patriarch of the TV weathercasting family. His son, Storm (born Elliot David Field) began doing weather reports on WABC in New York in 1976 and went on to have a long career there and on WCBS (where father and son worked together for a while) and WWOR. Dr. Field’s daughter Alison Field was a weather forecaster for WCBS, in addition to pursuing an acting career.
They are survived by him, as is another daughter, Pamela Field; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Dr. Field’s wife, Joan Kaplan Field, died that year. Dr. Field lived in Boca Raton, Florida.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his serious demeanor, Dr. Field became a staple of late-night television.
After Johnny Carson mocked him on “The Tonight Show”, Dr. Field (whom Carson jokingly called NBC’s “crack meteorologist”) became an occasional guest on the show.
One night during a rainstorm in New York, Carson and his “Tonight Show” colleagues doused him with buckets of water.
Dr. Field said he appreciates His “Tonight Show” appearances Because they gave him national recognition beyond audiences for his weather, medical and science reports.
He told The Daily News of New York in 2005, “They actually gave me a safety rope.” “It was absolutely a lock—you couldn’t shoot at Frank Fields.”
In December 1985, Dr. Field’s popularization of the Heimlich maneuver saved his life.
He was dining with CBS sportscaster Warner Wolf at a Manhattan restaurant when a piece of roast beef stuck in Dr. Field’s throat. “There was no pain,” he later told The New York Times. “I tried to swallow but could not swallow. I tried to cough. I was absolutely calm, until I realized I couldn’t breathe. He was also unable to speak to Mr. Wolf to explain his troubles.
Dr. Field said, “So I pointed to my throat to give him access and stood up.” “He did it the first time, and it didn’t work. I thought: ‘Oh my God! this does not work. If I faint, I will not make the 11 o’clock news.
When Mr. Wolf tries again, he spits out the flesh.
Dr. Field said, “Warner had never done it, but he had seen me perform it on television.”