Frank Field, a meteorologist who brought a landmark credential to his job as a TV weather forecaster in New York and a long career as a host of network shows about science and medicine, died Saturday in Florida. he was 100 years old.
His death was announced by WNBC television Dr. Field began his broadcasting career in 1958 in New York.
Dr. Field, who has appeared in New York and network television for over 40 years, was not New York’s first popular TV forecaster. But he differed from his predecessor in one important way.
The most notable of those predecessors (who also became his rivals) were Tex Antoine and Carol Reed. Mr. Antoine drew a mustachioed Uncle Wesby on the weather maps of NBC and later his ABC station in New York, changing the character’s facial expressions and weather-related clothing depending on the weather forecast. Reid concluded her evening report on WCBS-TV with a hilarious, “Happily ever after.” Both enjoyed long runs on television. However, neither had expertise in weather science.
“Weather forecasts used to be in the newspaper’s real estate transaction reporting class,” Dr. Field told The New Yorker in a 1966 profile. “We figured the network needed to flash everything with pretty girls and other gimmicks.”
Dr. Field, who wore glasses and had a “pretty professorial demeanor,” as described in his magazine profile, more than made up for the lack of Flash.
Although Dr. Field did not have a college degree in meteorology, his Ph.D. served and was recognized. He is certified as a meteorologist by the American Weather Association. He received the association’s seal of approval, which recognizes broadcast forecasters who “deliver sound weather information to the public.”
He used his technical knowledge to interpret data from weather satellites launched in the advent of the space age, detailing the graphical representations of the weather system shown on television.
He also established himself as a science reporter covering nothing but the weather.
Dr. Field narrated live broadcasts of heart surgery and organ transplants. He was an advocate of fire protection programs and described the best ways to escape building fires in his book, Dr. Martin. In Frank Field’s Get Out Alive (1992) and educational DVDs for children and their parents,fire is …” (2006). He was also the host of the programs ‘Medical Update’ and ‘Health Field’.
Perhaps most famously, he promoted the Heimlich Maneuver, a life-saving procedure developed by Dr. Henry J. Heimlich in the 1970s that uses bear hugs and abdominal thrusts to remove food stuck in the throat. Dr. Field brought Dr. Heimlich into the studio for a demonstration.
Dr. Field received a New York Emmy Award in 1975 for “Reporting Advancements in Applied Science.” He was a research fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he studied the relationship between weather and health.
Franklin Field was born in Queens on March 30, 1923, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. His father was a factory worker.
He studied geology at the University of Brooklyn, and when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was commissioned, he played center for the school’s football team — the quarterback who would later play for the New York Giants. It was Ally Sherman who would become the head coach – as a second lieutenant.
After the military trained him as a meteorologist, he flew over German-occupied France and analyzed the weather patterns affecting American bombing raids. He then lectured on meteorology at Air Force bases across the state.
He did not return to Brooklyn University after the war, instead continuing his studies in meteorology. He joined the staff of the National Weather Service in Manhattan, where he headed a company that provided weather data to newspapers and private clients.
But when his wife, Joan, became pregnant with their first child, he sought a more financially stable professional career. He studied optometric engineering at Columbia University, received his doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Optometry, and briefly worked as an optometrist in the early 1950s.
“If someone yells, ‘Is there a doctor at home?’ I answer that all I can do for the patient is to nervously prescribe a change of glasses,” he said. told the New Yorker.
In addition to nighttime weather forecasts, Dr. Field analyzed space missions on network television broadcasts and described the weather conditions astronauts would face once they landed in the ocean.
Dr. Field left NBC in 1984 and moved to CBS, where he worked for 11 years. After that, he worked for two local television stations in New York, WNYW and He WWOR. He retired in his 2004.
Dr. Field was also a senior figure in a family of television weather anchors. His son, Storm (real name Elliot David Field), began reporting weather on his WABC in New York in 1976, then New York and he had a long career with the WCBS (where father and son worked together for a short time) and WWOR. Dr. Field’s daughter Alison Field was also a WCBS weather forecaster in addition to her acting career.
They survive him, as does their other daughter, Pamela Field. 7 grandchildren. and six great-grandchildren. Dr. Field’s wife, Joan Kaplan Field, passed away this year. Dr. Field lived in Boca Raton, Florida.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his no-nonsense demeanor, Dr. Field has become a presence on late-night television.
After Johnny Carson made fun of him on “The Tonight Show,” Dr. Field (whom Carson jokingly referred to as NBC’s “Crack Meteorologist”) became an occasional guest on the show.
One rainy night in New York, Carson and a colleague from The Tonight Show threw a bucket of water on Carson.
Dr. Field said he was grateful His appearance on The Tonight Show Because they gave him national recognition beyond audiences for his meteorological, medical and scientific reports.
“He really gave me a lifeline,” he told the New York Daily News in 2005. “It was totally rock. You couldn’t fire Frank Field.”
In December 1985, Dr. Field’s dissemination of the Heimlich Act saved his life.
While dining at a Manhattan restaurant with CBS sportscaster Warner Wolf, a piece of roast beef got stuck in Dr. Field’s throat. “There was no pain,” he later told The New York Times. “I tried to swallow, but I couldn’t. I tried to cough. I was perfectly calm until I realized I couldn’t breathe.” I couldn’t even speak because of it.
“So I pointed to my throat and stood up to give him access,” Dr. Field said. “He did it the first time, and it didn’t work. I thought, ‘Oh my God! It doesn’t work. If I lose consciousness, it won’t make the 11 o’clock news.'”
Mr. Wolfe tried again and kicked the meat out.
“Warner never did it,” said Dr. Field. “But he had seen me demonstrate it on TV.”