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Ginger Zee is known as an American weather anchor. She is most famous for her work at ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’.
Ginger Renee Zuidgeest was born on January 13, 1981, in California. Ginger is the daughter of Dutch parents Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft and Robert Zuidgeest. Her father learned English from watching the popular American sitcom "Gilligan’s Island". He named his daughter "Ginger" after the character that appeared on the show played by actress Tina Louise. Ginger has a younger brother, Sean, and two half-sisters, Adrianna and Elaina Craft, from her mother’s second marriage to Carl John Craft.
Zee’s family moved to Michigan when Ginger was less than one year old. Ginger graduated from Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. When she was a young girl, she decided that she wanted to become a meteorologist when she grew up. A waterspout that she saw on Lake Michigan became the inspiration for her dreams. Waterspouts were common in that area, but Zee recalls being “mesmerized” and said, “I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen”. It was natural for a young impressionable girl to want to become a "tornado chaser" after witnessing one. The fact that Zee actually made her dream come true, speaks volumes of her grit and determination.
Zee attended Valparaiso "Valpo" University in Indiana, the largest independent Lutheran University in the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in meteorology and was well on her way towards the attainment of her childhood dreams.
Ginger Zee is married to Benjamin Aaron Colonomos, popularly known as "Ben Aaron", who is also a television personality. Ben works on the popular television show "Crazy Talk". When they first met, Aaron was working with NBC Universal’s LXTV. Prior to their wedding, Aaron made a hilarious video showcasing how he met his future wife and how they surmounted the difficult task of dating despite being from two rival television channels. The video, available on the internet, shows Ben’s funny side and was well received by viewers, especially the part when Ben uses a male dummy as a sit in for his future bride to show viewers how he proposed to Ginger.
After a long-term relationship with Aaron, the couple got engaged in 2013. They married on a beach in Petoskey Michigan in June 2014, a location where Ginger spent every summer during her formative years. They held two ceremonies. One was a private event for their personal vows and the second was a more public traditional event in front of 55 guests later the same day. Ginger Zee has taken on her husband’s name privately, her legal name is Ginger Renee Colonomos, but she also retains her professional name, Ginger Zee, for public appearances.
After her marriage, Zee admitted that she was looking forward to parenthood at some point in the future and that both adopted and biological children could be a part of those plans. The public announcement that she was pregnant was made on June 29th, 2015. When asked about her pregnancy on national television, the weather anchor replied, "The forecast for delivery is in December." She also mentioned that viewers of her show seemed to suspect that she was pregnant, even before she announced it to them. Ginger and Ben gave birth to a son named Adrian Benjamin.
Ginger shows her social spirit every Wednesday of the week when she talks to school children about weather and meteorology. She is an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Valparaiso University. Ginger has shot many episodes for Discovery Channel’s popular show "Storm Chasers". By all accounts, she is a role model and not just your average "weather girl".
After her graduation, Zee worked for various media outlets including WEYI-TV, WLAV-FM, and WOOD-TV in Michigan, and finally WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois. It was at this last NBC owned station that she received her first big break when she was asked to fill in as a guest meteorologist on the weekend edition of "The Today Show". The program is the fifth longest running show in American television history, and being a part of this show fulfilled another one of Ginger’s lifelong ambitions as she had declared during high school that she would present the weather on The Today Show before she was 30 years old.
In 2011, she made her first appearance on "Good Morning America Weekend", which gave her national prominence. Subsequent appearances on "Nightline" and "ABC World News" followed and in 2013 ABC News announced that she would become the chief meteorologist for "Good Morning America" and the weather editor for ABC News. Ginger succeeded veteran Sam Champion in the role. Champion subsequently filled in for her during her maternity leave after the birth of her son, Adrian, in January, 2015. Zee and Champion share a very good relationship as he is her immediate predecessor and she credits him for mentoring her. When Champion’s own show was canceled, her forecast for him on national television was, “Cloudy, with a 100% chance of sunshine.”
Ginger has had many successes in her life; however, she has also been faced with her share of challenges. When she was 22, Ginger was diagnosed with narcolepsy and depression. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by the extreme tendency to fall asleep when in relaxing surroundings. This is a lifelong disorder and the fact that Zee has managed to build up her successful career while battling this condition is a true testament to her inner strength.
Ginger is very vocal about this problem and is a member of "Wake Up Narcolepsy", a non- profit organization that helps people afflicted with the disorder. Ginger recently admitted that she needed professional psychological help because she realized she “needed to get to the bottom of the depression” that affected her for nearly twenty years and understood “that it was time to commit to getting healthy.” Since working with the professional, Ginger reports “Life has never been the same in the best way thanks to the simple exercises he taught me and I am committed to practicing.”
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