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Al Roker mourns death of Today co-star and 'second dad' in heartfelt tribute

The TV star paid his respects on social media

Hanna Fillingham

Al Roker has paid an emotional tribute on social media following the devastating death of his Today co-star.

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The beloved weatherman took to Instagram to share a series of photos of himself and Willard Scott, who passed away at the age of 87.

In his tribute, Al likened Willard to his "second dad" and praised him for helping him with his career.

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He wrote: "We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning. Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris.

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"He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him."

Jenna Bush Hager, who hosts Today with Hoda & Jenna, was one of the first to respond, writing: "What a man! Thinking of you so," while a fan wrote: "You were the first person I thought of when I saw this! You are in my thoughts and prayers."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Al Roker (@alroker)

Al Roker mourned the heartbreaking death of his Today co-star Willard Scott

Another fan added: "Oh no… so sad. Thinking of him and everyone that loved Willard. Loved your friendship with him."

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Willard – who was a longtime weatherman for Today - retired from the show in 2015 after 35 years. During his long-running reign, he formed a close bond with Al and the rest of his co-stars on the NBC morning show.

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Al Roker was incredibly close to his co-star Willard Scott

Willard was known for his outgoing, fun personality and for celebrating the lives of viewers who had reached their milestone 100th birthdays by using Smucker's jelly jars to wish them many happy returns.

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Former Today co-host Katie Couric also paid her respects to Willard on social media.

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Willard retired from Today in 2015 after 35 years on the show

She wrote on Twitter: "He played such an outsized role in my life and was as warm and loving and generous off camera as he was on.

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"Willard, you didn't make it to the front of the Smucker's jar but you changed so many lives for the better."

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