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He Knew Which Way The Wind Blew: Weatherman Don Kent Dies

Don Kent, the man known as "Boston's first TV weatherman," has died. He was 92.

Don Kent (WBZ)
Don Kent (WBZ)

The Quincy native and former WBZ meteorologist died of natural causes early Tuesday morning at a New Hampshire hospital.

WCVB-TV Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard said Kent set the bar for professional weather casting in New England.

"I think he'll just be remembered as the first legend and icon, you know, somebody that all meteorologists are always going to be compared to," Leonard said.

Long time WBZ-TV meteorologist Barry Burbank who credits Kent with sparking his own interest in weather forecasting, having worked with him in the late 1970s and early '80s.

"Don was not fake. He was not phony at all," Burbank said. "He was what he was, and what he portrayed on the television is what he was in real life. He was just so full of energy, and he was just so creative in everything that he did. And he was a workaholic."

Kent joined WBZ-AM in 1951 and moved to WBZ-TV in 1955, becoming a fixture on the airwaves for nearly three decades. He continued to broadcast on several New England radio stations after his retirement from WBZ in 1983.

Listen: Fellow WBZ-TV Meteorologist Barry Burbank Remembers Kenthttp://audio.wbur.org/storage/2010/03/news_0303_don-kent-obit.mp3

Kent's folksy style and his passion for weather made him a favorite among viewers and listeners. His career encompassed many major weather events in New England, including the historic Blizzard of 1978.

Kent took a course on air mass analysis at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1930s, but much of his knowledge was self-taught.

Burbank said Kent had a natural weather instinct.

"He would look out and he could feel the weather, he could smell the weather, whereas we look at and rely upon a lot of computer models now, mathematical models to help us forecast," Burbank said.

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The Associated Press contributed.

This program aired on March 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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