Chicago’s Legendary Harry Volkman Dies at 89

By Mark Joyella 

Harry Volkman, legendary weatherman for more than 50 years in Chicago television, has died after a long illness. His family tells CBS-owned WBBM Volkman died Thursday at 89.

Volkman arrived in Chicago from Tulsa in 1959, working at WMAQ, WGN, and WBBM:

Harry also enjoyed being out in the field, reporting. He was famous for all of the visits he made across the Chicago region, to classrooms, to senior centers — wherever he could talk about the weather.


It became a tradition to present him with a flower, which he often wore later in the day during his broadcasts.

Harry did weather at CBS 2 from 1978 to 1996, when he moved on to work for Fox. He had been retired for more than a decade but wrote a book recently about his life as a weatherman.

“In the field of broadcast meteorology, Harry was a force of nature,” Tom Skilling, chief meteorologist at WGN, told Robert Feder. “He took such joy in seeing young people coming into our profession and launching their own careers, and he was there to nurture their efforts. He took genuine pride in their success. You had the sense their success brought him joy — and this wasn’t an act — it really did.”